Mike Gatting will captain a team from the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in their first match against Afghanistan later this week, it was announced here on Monday. The fixture will take place at Mumbaiâ€™s Police Ground on Thursday â€” a day after Englandâ€™s three-Test tour of India is due to conclude at the cityâ€™s Wankhede Stadium.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead MCC in this historic game against Afghanistan,” said former England captain Gatting. “Cricket has developed rapidly in the country over the last few years. The MCC is keen to assist this process â€” as it is in all emerging cricket-playing nations.”
Cricketâ€™s popularity in Afghanistan has increased since many of the refugees who fled from the country in the early 1980s, after the invasion by the then Soviet Union, started to return from Pakistan â€” where they saw the game and started to play and follow it. In the last 10 years, the membership of the Afghanistan Cricket Federation has grown more than twenty-fold - from 500 to 12,000 members.
President MCC Robin Marlar, explaining the background to a fixture which marks the end of the clubâ€™s own tour of India, said: “This match is the culmination of many months of hard work. It all started several years ago when an MCC member, Mark Scrase-Dickens, raised the issue of Afghan cricket at a club AGM (Annual General Meeting).
It is now more than three decades since the MCC gave up its role as the governing body of English cricket, although that has done nothing to shorten the queue for membership with an average waiting list time of 20 years before candidates can wear the clubâ€™s distinctive orange and yellow striped tie.
The MCC remain the owners of Londonâ€™s Lordâ€™s Cricket Ground and are still the worldwide ruling body responsible for cricketâ€™s rules or Laws. Another aspect of the clubâ€™s work is in helping the development of cricket all round the world, especially in countries which are new to the game. The countries where the MCC teams are due to tour later this year include China, Botswana and Zambia.
Source: The NewsMore on:Afghanistan, MCC, Mumbai
Technorati Tags: Mike Gatting, MCC, Afghanistan, London
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006 and is filed under General.
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