MCC leaves for tour of Tanzania
A strong fifteen-man MCC touring party departed for Tanzania earlier this week for the Club's final overseas tour of 2012.
Included in the squad are three players with First-Class cricket experience: Ireland and Northamptonshire CCC's Niall O'Brien, Northamptonshire's Matthew Spriegel, and former Pakistan "A" all-rounder and Karachi captain, Kashif Ibrahim.
They will be joined by former Loughborough MCC Universities all-rounder Richard Wilkinson, and ex-MCC Young Cricketer, Alan Duncan, alongside MCC Playing Members from throughout the UK.
During the twelve-day tour the MCC players will pit their skills against a range of select teams, in two 50-over matches and two Twenty20 clashes, culminating in a coveted two-day fixture against a Tanzania Cricket Association eleven in Arusha on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st October. They will also deliver three special coaching sessions for local primary schools.
MCC Head of Cricket, John Stephenson, who was speaking ahead of the tour departing explained that "Tanzanian cricket is currently moving through a phase of significant growth and development, and I am delighted that MCC can continue to support this progression.
"We have selected a strong touring party, including several players with First-Class and international cricket experience, so I hope that the MCC team will provide challenging opposition, and help raise playing standards amongst the Tanzanian players."
Tanzania has a long association with cricket, dating back to 1890, when the game was first introduced to the region by British settlers.
The nation was granted Associate Membership of the International Cricket Council in 2001, and since 2008 Tanzania has competed in Division 4 of the ICC World Cricket League. In the 2012 competition Tanzania finished sixth, and was therefore relegated to Division 5 for the 2014 ICC World Cricket League.
MCC last toured Tanzania in 2007. The 2012 touring party will be hoping to emulate the success of their predecessors, who won all seven of their fixtures.
MCC will be touring Argentina, the Cayman Islands, France, Cyprus, and Uganda and Rwanda in 2013.