The decision to re-ballot Marylebone Cricket Club members on September 28 was announced on Tuesday despite the motion being rejected earlier this year.

If passed, women will be able to enter the famous Long Room at cricket’s traditional headquarters at Lord’s for the first time.

The MCC committee is supporting a “yes” vote and a glossy brochure has been sent to all 18,000 MCC members outlining their reasons for wanting women to join.

Secretary Roger Knight said: “Should the vote go through in September, the club could create 10 honorary women members – and they could be in place by the end of next summer’s World Cup final (at Lord’s).”

Last February, 56 per cent of MCC members voted in favour of women joining, short of the required two-thirds majority needed to alter club rules.

MCC fear they have since lost out on major sponsorship and national lottery funding, partly due to its status as a men-only club.

MCC president Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie, former captain of Hampshire, said: “I deny completely that we are being motivated by political correctness. Tony Banks and Tony Blair are supporting our decision, but we are not in any way following their lead at all.

“This issue was first voted on in 1991, long before the advent of New Labour. I have been to clubs all around the world – in Zimbabwe, Australia and the West Indies – and, with the exception of Trinidad, they all have women members and no problems at all.”