Two Afghanis to take on Pakistanis at Lord's
MCC Media release
Two Afghani cricketers will play for MCC against neighbours Pakistan at Lord's on June 27th. Mohammad Nabi and Hamid Hassan both spent time on the MCC Young Cricketers (YC) staff at the Home of Cricket during 2007. Since then they have been instrumental in the rapid progress of the Afghanistan national side, which played in the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies last month. They are included in a MCC side captained by Sourav Ganguly and featuring Brian Lara.
Also confirmed is former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Harris whose tight bowling brought him much success in limited overs cricket. Harris stands second on the all-time New Zealand wicket takers' list in One Day Internationals. Joining Harris is South African Tyron Henderson, who was a major force in Middlesex's victorious Twenty20 Cup campaign in 2008, and Middlesex's wicket-keeper John Simpson who was an MCC YC in 2008.
The international MCC side calls on players from India, South Africa, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and England. Despite hailing from across the globe, many will feel at home at Lord's. Hassan became the first Afghan to play at Lord's in 2007, when he represented the Club against a Europe XI, and Ganguly features on the Honours Boards for his 131 against England in 1996.
The Twenty20 match takes place on June 27th and starts at 2.30pm.
The full MCC side is:
Sourav Ganguly (capt.)
John Simpson (wk)
Since 2006, when an MCC team led by Mike Gatting lost to Afghanistan in an inaugural match in Mumbai, the world's most famous cricket club has played an active part in trying to develop the game in Afghanistan.
Former England all-rounder and army officer Matthew Fleming, who sits on the MCC Committee, has twice been to Afghanistan to lead MCC's efforts - alongside the charity Afghan Connection - to encourage Afghan children to play cricket. As a result, MCC Spirit of Cricket camps have been enjoyed by hundreds of children throughout the country. In addition, MCC and Afghan Connection have instigated a cricket-pitch building programme in schools.
This will be MCC's first Twenty20 match at Lord's, and Brian Lara's first match for the Club.