| Holly Colvin
London, July 24: Two girls who provoked the wrath of the MCC president because they play cricket with boys have been selected for the England women’s team.
It is the first time two schoolgirls have been selected for a full England squad and their head teacher says they would not be there but for the challenge of playing in mixed teams.
The row over the inclusion of girls in school first teams was provoked by Robin Marlar, 74, when he became MCC president last October.
He told The Sunday Telegraph: “Did you know that Brighton College are playing girls in their First XI' Girls. It’s absolutely outrageous. “If there’s an 18-year-old who can bowl at 80 mph and he’s been brought up properly then he shouldn’t want to hurt a lady at any cost.”
And if he saw a girl bowling at that speed he would question whether she had undergone a sex change.
Holly Colvin, 16, and Sarah Taylor, 17, of Brighton College, dismissed the comments at the time, saying they were “not scared yet”. Now they have established a record by being the youngest to be awarded a place in the women’s team to play India in August.
Richard Cairns, their head teacher, said playing inter-school cricket at the top level, which was dominated by boys, had given the two girls an edge.
“It creates quite a stir when the team arrives at some of the top public boys’ schools and the boys find themselves facing two girls,” he said.
“Robin Marlar’s comments were pretty outrageous and the pupils here were flabbergasted because they couldn’t understand the mentality of someone who would say that. It showed a huge generation gap.”