The Melbourne Cricket Club is a unique organisation. It is a private club, incorporated under the Melbourne Cricket Club Act 1974, boasting by far the biggest membership of any sporting club in Australia.
The MCC also has the public responsibility of managing one of the largest and the most successful stadiums in Australia and the world – the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Assuming occupancy of the MCG’s present site (its fourth) in 1853, the MCC has 102,800 members (comprising 61,800 Full members and 41,000 Restricted members). There are 225,000 people on the waiting list. Between 10,000 and 15,000 people are nominated for membership each year.*
Along with the playing of cricket, today's MCC is an umbrella organisation for hundreds of participants in 11 sporting sections - baseball, bowls, croquet, football, golf, hockey, lacrosse, real tennis, target shooting, squash and tennis.
The club's principal public role, however, remains the progressive management and development of the MCG - a stadium which shares a unique relationship with its local community and boasts a rare magnetism in attracting visitors from all corners of the globe.
Management of the ground is vested in the MCC by the government-appointed MCG Trust and an Act of Parliament guarantees the club's occupation of about 20 per cent of the stadium for its Members Reserve.
The keenness of Melburnians to belong to their cricket club and retain membership, usually for life, has been a major factor in enabling the club to develop the stadium, until the early nineties, almost exclusively through the use of members' funds.
*Figures as at August 31, 2012.