MCC honour Tutu and Flintoff

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, pictured, and Andrew Flintoff have each been awarded honorary life membership of the MCC today

The MCC have awarded Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff honorary life membership.

Widely known as a cricket enthusiast, Dr Tutu was the first speaker to be drawn from outside the circle of international cricket to deliver the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture in 2008.

Flintoff joins a select group of former players, including Sir Garfield Sobers, Sunil Gavaskar and Sir Ian Botham, who are already life members of the club.

He also becomes the second member of England’s 2005 Ashes-winning side to join the MCC fold, following Michael Vaughan’s award last year.

MCC president Christopher Martin-Jenkins said: “The MCC committee was unanimous in deciding to offer honorary life membership to Andrew in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the game.

“Throughout his career he has demonstrated that you can play hard but fair – the two central tenets of the MCC Spirit of Cricket message – and we are thrilled that he has accepted the invitation.

“Andrew was a talisman of the game and a hugely popular figure, and I very much look forward to seeing him at Lord’s in the future.

“Desmond Tutu was an original choice to give the Cowdrey Lecture in 2008 and his message made all his listeners think.

"An inspiring public figure with a bubbly charm, he has been a leader of South Africa's post-apartheid drive to prefer peace and reconciliation to the dreadful alternatives that might have followed under a president less forgiving than Nelson Mandela.

“Last year on his retirement he said that he hoped to watch more cricket. He may now do so at Lord's whenever he pleases, and he will always be welcomed.”