Former England captain Rachel Heyhoe Flint passes away

Former England women's captain and a pioneer of women's cricket, Rachel Heyhoe Flint, passed away at age of 77.

Rachel Heyhoe Flint

Rachel Heyhoe Flint went on to become the first woman to be elected to the full committee of the MCC.   -  Getty Images

Former England captain and pioneer of women's cricket, Rachel Heyhoe Flint, passed away at age of 77. The Lord's Cricket Ground's official Twitter account announced the news on Wednesday evening.

Rachel played 22 Tests and 23 ODIs for England. She led the England team to World Cup title victory in the augural edition. She captained the side between 1966 and 1978. Under her, the England side remained unbeaten in all four series that it played (12 Tests). She has led England in most Tests – 12.

More than her cricketing achievements, Rachel is remembered for being a pioneer for women's cricket. She played a major role in women being allowed to play at the Lord's Cricket Ground, which was erstwhile strictly restricted to the men. Rachel had threatened the MCC that she along with other women cricketers would move the Equal Opportunities Commission if women were not allowed to play at the Lord's in 1970s. The England team was allowed to play against touring Australian in 1976 at the Lord's.

She went on to become the first woman to be elected to the full committee of the MCC. She was made the director of Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. in 1997. She remained an ex-officio vice-president of the Wolves until her death.

MCC in its statement said: "Marylebone Cricket Club expresses its sadness at the passing of Baroness Heyhoe Flint. A pioneer of the women’s game, Rachael Heyhoe Flint captained England between 1966 and 1978 and had a long association with MCC. She also played in the first ever women’s match at Lord’s in 1976 against Australia, the 40th anniversary of which was celebrated at the Home of Cricket last year with a special dinner at which she spoke."

MCC President Matthew Fleming said: “This is a terribly sad day for everyone involved in cricket and all of us at MCC. Rachael Heyhoe Flint was a pioneer of women’s cricket.

"Her impact on MCC, be it through events on the field or in the Committee Room, was immeasurable and her enthusiasm, wisdom and gentleness of character will be missed by everyone with whom she came into contact. We all loved her.”

The MCC flag on the Clock Tower at Lord’s has been lowered to half-mast as a mark of respect.