June 21, 2007


MCC head to Belgium

Martin Williamson

MCC start a tour of Belgium - where cricket was first played in 1815, between British Army officers before the Battle of Waterloo - on Friday (June 22).

The 15-strong squad will be led by Chinmay Gupte and includes Stuart Ransley (an MCC Young Cricketer) and Gareth James (a student at one of the six MCC Universities - Cambridge).

The week-long tour will include coaching sessions and four fixtures - starting on Saturday (with a match against a Cricket Vlaanderen XI in Gent) and culminating, next Thursday, in a game against the Belgian National Select XI (at the Royal Brussels Cricket Club).

Belgium is the fifth of eight countries that will be toured this year by MCC which, with an annual programme of over 500 matches, is the world's most active cricket-playing club.

Indeed, the penultimate tour match in Belgium - a Twenty20 fixture - will be played on one of the busiest days (Wednesday, June 27) in MCC's cricket calendar. On that day, its men's and women's teams will play no fewer than 15 matches, in venues from Antwerp to Arbroath.

"MCC is committed to promoting cricket - both in Britain and overseas," John Stephenson, MCC's Head of Cricket, said. "Our tours play a key part in that process. As well as increasing international interest in the game, they enable emerging cricketing nations to measure their recent progress. They also provide our players with invaluable experience of different conditions and cultures.

That's why I'm particularly pleased that an increasing number of Young Cricketers and students from the MCC Universities - in whom we invest £850,0000 per year - are now taking part in our overseas tours."


Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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