|Photo by Sudarshan Ranjit|
The MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), always known for sending strong representative teams to spread the benefits of the game, will be in Nepal to play three 50-over matches, a Twenty20 and a three-day match against local opposition in March.
In his time as a player, Roy Dias took on just these kinds of sides prior to Sri Lanka achieving Test status. Now Nepal’s coach, he says, “These games will benefit my players and raise their fitness levels. Fitness is very important but we also badly need the match practice now. I’m hoping the U-17s and U-19s will get the chance to play at least one 50-over game. There’s added pressure on the U-19s as they are ACC U-19 Elite defending champions and all other teams will be just looking to beat us in the upcoming tournament. Nepal has a great passion for sport and with the home support at the games it should be a good few days of cricket”.
|Roy Dias with Nepal captain Binod Das|
All games will be played at the Tribhuvan University Ground, which can hold up to 10,000 spectators.
“The MCC had previously made a visit to Nepal in 2004 and it is nice to host them again. They have been touring and playing non-Test teams for a long time and we are grateful for this as it helps provide us with exposure to a higher level of cricket”, said Cricket Association of Nepal President Binaya Raj Pandey.
During the 2004 tour MCC played four 45-overs matches. The first three games were lost by one wicket, four wickets and six wickets. Kathmandu XI won the final game by 106 runs with current national players Dipendra Chaudhary and Raj Kumar Pradhan scoring 107 and taking 3 for 29 respectively.
ACC Development Officer Iqbal Sikander was a member of the MCC team that toured Nepal then along with Oman and UAE. Mr. Sikander says, “MCC make a habit of picking the best available players from their ranks to go out and not just play cricket but also work with the local players in all the countries they visit. In 2004, MCC had a very strong side and Nepal’s cricketers struggled but a lot of those same Nepalis have come a long way since then and I think this year’s MCC will have a tougher time of it. MCC also helps the developing countries with financial help for the development of grounds and academies and at the same time also donates cricket equipment to the deserving players.”
|ACC Development Officer Iqbal Sikander|
MCC have been working with the International Cricket Council to target countries that can benefit from MCC’s coaching skills (they did after all, compose the original coaching guidebook) and in 2009 MCC teams will be touring Croatia, Indonesia, Japan and Mozambique as well as Nepal.
Filed March 17, 2009