Final overseas tour of 2022 as MCC Women head to Nepal

The MCC began its last overseas tour of the year today as a squad of players left London for Nepal.

It’s been a busy year for the MCC Overseas Touring programme, with men’s teams heading to Serbia, Romania, Italy and Uganda.

The fifth and final tournament of 2022 sees a 15-member MCC Playing squad travel to Kathmandu for a trip lasting nearly two weeks. The tour is in collaboration with the MCC Foundation (MCCF), which has been working to deliver cricket to the youth of Nepal since 2019.

MCC will play six matches during the Nepal tour. In Kathmandu, they will play a 40-over match and a T20 match against a team with a mix of players from the entire Nepali national team and their Under-19 team. The matches will be played at Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground and Mulpani Ground.

“Our overseas tour program continues to be an important segment of the club’s cricket strategy”

When the tournament moves north-west to Pokhara, the team will play four more matches against teams brought together by the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN), alternating between T20 and 40-over cricket. All the four games will be played at the Pokhara Rangashala ground.

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The second leg of the tournament will involve more training sessions as the team looks to inspire local youngsters and school children to play the game. The club will work closely with MCCF, Cricket Without Boundaries and CAN to deliver these sessions.

Claire Taylor will manage the tournament and be part of the playing team. The former England batsman, whose 156 not out against India at Lord’s in 2006 remains the highest individual One-Day International score at the Ground, chaired the MCC Cricket Committee in 2019.

Saba Nasim is the assistant player manager for the tournament and the team will be captained by Jennie Kitzinger. Both are experienced MCC players and were featured at Lord’s on the MCC Women’s Day earlier this summer.

The MCC last toured Nepal in 2019 when a strong men’s team played the Nepal national team in several matches, including a three-day first-class match in Kathmandu.

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Since the 2019 tournament, MCCF has worked in partnership with UK charity Kidasha to deliver cricket to Pokhara. This year, over 1,100 girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 16 were offered regular classes in 14 schools. Many of the children involved in this project do not have access to sports or recreation and come from disadvantaged slum communities.

Almost half of the participants were girls, and feedback from parents and coaches was overwhelmingly positive about the impact the program had on their confidence and athletic ability.

Jamie Cox, Director of Cricket Operations at the MCC, said: “Our overseas touring program continues to be an important part of the club’s cricket strategy and, after the challenges of the pandemic, it has been particularly pleasing for us to visit five countries this year.

“The ability to send a women’s team to Nepal highlights the club’s commitment to our women’s game program, which aims to increase playing opportunities for female members both at home and abroad.

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“It’s also fantastic for us to be able to support the amazing work that the MCC Foundation has been doing in Nepal over a number of years.”

The squad for the tournament is:

Claire Taylor (player manager), Saba Nasim (assistant player manager), Jennie Kitzinger (captain), Abbie Whybrow, Shweta Chaudhuri, Sarah Cray, Jolene Foster, Isabelle Gurney, Elysa Hubbard (vice-captain), Amanda Potgieter, Rachael Potter, Ria Raval, Mia Rogers, Marilyn Smith (Player/Scorer), Sophie McLelland

The fixings are as follows:

Monday, October 24
MCC v Nepal/Under 19’s XI (40 overs) at Mulpani Ground, Kathmandu

Tuesday 25 October
MCC v Nepal Under 19 (T20) at Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground, Kathmandu

Friday October 28
MCC vs Nepal Cricket Association XI (T20) at Pokhara Rangashala ground

Saturday October 29
MCC v Cricket Association of Nepal XI (40 overs) at Pokhara Rangashala Ground

Sunday October 30
MCC v Nepal/Under 19’s XI (T20) at Pokhara Rangashala Ground

Tuesday November 1st
MCC v Cricket Association of Nepal XI (40 overs) at Pokhara Rangashala Ground

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