- DC Area
- Jersey Area
- Los Angeles
- New York
- SF Bay Area
- Earlier editions
- India News
- US News
Shyam Bhatia in London
Disgraced novelist and former deputy chairman of Britain's opposition Conservative Party, Lord Jeffrey Archer, has been suspended from the Marleybourne Cricket Club, the world's most prestigious cricket club said in a terse statement.
The suspension of cricket-loving Archer, who is serving a four-year prison sentence, means he will be nearly 70-years-old before he is able to enter the hallowed members' enclosure at the MCC.
News of Archer's suspension and even expulsion had been the subject of intense speculation for several weeks and coincided with demands from members of Parliament that he should also be stripped of his peerage.
A decision on whether he can retain his title has yet to be made, but in a statement on Monday night a spokesman for the MCC said: "During its meeting on Wednesday, 23rd October, the MCC Committee considered - among other issues - Lord Archer's membership of the club. MCC can confirm that - as has been reported - the Committee decided to suspend Lord Archer's membership of MCC for seven years, with immediate effect. A letter was sent to Lord Archer, on Wednesday afternoon, informing him of this decision."
The MCC committee consists of 20 members and is chaired by Lord Alexander, who absented himself from Wednesday's meeting because he has in the past acted as Archer's legal adviser.
In his absence, the chair was taken by former England cricket captain Ted Dexter.
The MCC refused to say how the committee voted, but sources said the mood at the meeting was to expel Archer, but he escaped that by just one vote.
Archer's friends say he is nevertheless devastated by the decision.
Earlier, he had written to fellow MCC members begging them not to penalise him for his tawdry behaviour in sleeping with a London prostitute and then falsely suing for libel the newspaper that reported his behaviour.
Although he has been repeatedly condemned, some former England cricketers who count themselves among Archer's friends did write in with letters of support.
One such friend, Chris Beetles, said of the decision: "It's a vindictive judgement on a man who has been good for cricket. It is unlikely to represent the views of most cricket-loving MCC members."
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report