They came, they saw, they conquered - not so much with bat and ball as one might expect, but socially and professionally - as the Ugandans and Rwandans will tell you.
By all accounts the 15-strong Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) party - 12 players, a manager, an umpire and photographer-cum-sound recordist Will Roe - did not know quite what to expect when they put down in Entebbe, Uganda, on October 4. But they soon found out!
Uganda vibrates when it comes to sport, yet the visitors soon had their tails up when they found a weakish Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) XI struggling on 67/9 in the first innings of a two-day match at Kyambogo University Oval. However MCC reckoned without redoubtable last pair Henry Ssenyondo and Raymond Otim, who put on 60 to push the UCA score up to 127 - enough to give them a first innings lead of 25 after MCC folded for 102. UCA then seized the moment and led by 102 at the end of the first day's play.
MCC pulled out the stops on the second day but could not prevent UCA reaching 234 for 7, returnee Patrick Ochan blitzing 61 not out off 23 balls, before captain Lawrence Ssematimba declared. But with the tourists, setting off at a fair old lick, on 22/0 in their second innings the skies darkened, the thunder rolled and the heavens opened to leave both sides stranded on a creditable draw.
At Kampala's Lugogo Oval two days later MCC had the upper hand when, despite a valiant half-century from UCA wicketkeeper-batsman Ssematimba, the tourists grabbed the initiative, winning a 50/50 fixture by six wickets. Then, after the thrills and spills of white-water rafting on the Nile and coaching hundreds of kids at Jinja, it was on to the lakeside idyll of Entebbe for the second 50/50, won by a more or less full strength UCA side by just two runs. It was in this match that MCC set their moral compass when, with stand-in UCA captain Frank Nsubuga off the field with a torn hand, they allowed his substitute, the leg-spinner Otim, to bowl, who promptly bagged three wickets.
It may be that exhaustion was now getting to the tourists but on the following day they were walloped in the first T20; they came bouncing back however and, after a warm-up win over Rwanda, caught their hosts on the hop and gave them a taste of their own medicine with an exciting eight-run T20 win.
That was the last of the fixtures against Uganda, who were grateful for the practice as part of their preparations for the World T20 qualifiers in Dubai next month and the ODI World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand in January.
But there was more to come - and this was perhaps the most important and revealing part of the MCC tour. Twelve men, by now almost totally exhausted, gave a morning over to coaching the Rwandans at Lugogo before taking them on in a 30/30 game. A 50-over match had originally been scheduled, but the new arrangement was much more satisfactory, as the Rwandans learned a great deal quickly without loss of face, despite going down by 94 runs.
This was a fitting end to a fascinating tour, in which MCC's eyes had already been further opened when they witnessed hundreds of youngsters taking part in a boys' and girls' mini-cricket competition at Lugogo Oval; and then just missed out on a public holiday coup de theatre - the Uganda women's T20 trials taking place on the same afternoon the party flew out of Entebbe back to UK.
Squad: Arfan Akram (capt), Chad Barrett, Paul Carter, Thomas Cox, David Cranfield-Thompson, James Irvine-Fortescue, Rupert KItzinger, Dean Morrison, David Otway (manager), Clinton Terrence Perren, James Wood, Joseph Barrs, Nail Bainton (umpire), James Overy.
1. Kyambogo Oval (2-day): UCA XI 127 & 234/7dec; MCC 102 & 22/0. Match drawn.
2. Lugogo Oval (50/50): UCA XI 171, MCC 172/4. MCC won by six wickets.
3. Entebbe (50/50): UCA XI 206/7; MCC 204/7. UCA XI won by two runs.
4. Lugogo Oval (T20): MCC 93, UCA XI 95/2. UCA XI won by eight wickets.
5. Lugogo Oval (T20): MCC 122/5, UCA XI 115/9. MCC won by seven runs.
6. Lugogo Oval (30/30): MCC 176/7, Rwanda 82. MCC won by 94 runs.