Cambridge emerged victorious over Oxford in their last outing at Lord's back in May, beating the Dark Blues by four wickets in the one-day Varsity matchCameron White

The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) will remove both Oxford vs. Cambridge and Eton vs. Harrow - two of the longest-running fixtures in English cricket’s history - from the annual rotation of matches at Lord’s next year.

Although both fixtures will go ahead in late June as usual, the MCC said when publishing it’s full schedule that they “will no longer be played as regular annual fixtures at Lord’s after 2022.”

The club explained that the decision had been taken in order to “further MCC’s goal to broaden the scope of the fixture list” and give “a wider range of players” the chance to play at the historic cricket ground. The MCC also added: “We would like to thank all four institutions for their support and co-operation and we look forward to hosting them in June.”

Cambridge and Oxford have clashed against each other annually at Lord’s since 1851, with the exception of the years of the two World Wars and the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. Men’s first-class fixtures were played until 2000 and a men’s limited-overs fixture until 2021, when it was then ruled that this year would see a Women’s Varsity match added to the one-day schedule.

The MCC’s decision to host a men’s and women’s Varsity was largely prompted by the Stump Out Sexism campaign that was launched by former Oxford captain Vanessa Picker, protesting at the fact that Lord’s had never staged a women’s fixture between the universities, which she said “reinforces damaging narratives about the inferiority of female cricketers.”

Both universities are set to play a T20 double-header on Monday 27th June, but will no longer be guaranteed a fixture in future seasons.


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Cambridge University Cricket Club (CUCC) released a statement after the verdict: “CUCC is grateful for the opportunity to play the 2022 T20 Varsity matches at Lord’s and enthusiastically welcomes the MCC decision to make way in following seasons for a wider range of people to realise their ambition of playing at Lord’s, which chimes with the university’s own ambitions on widening access and participation.”

In alignment with the club’s statement, a CUCC spokesperson informed Varsity about future plans for the annual event: “We sit down in September with the players and agree our fixture lists then. The Varsity matches will obviously continue and, for future matches, we’ll be going through our usual process in the Michaelmas term of identifying fixtures and venues, so nothing changes to be honest.”

An MCC spokesperson also confirmed that the fixtures could be played again at Lord’s in the future if in a different format or as part of wider events, but without the guarantee of being an annual fixture.

Meanwhile, this summer’s one-day and three-day Varsity matches will be played at Arundel Castle Cricket Ground and Fenner’s respectively.