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MCC set off on Mozambique tour

Cricinfo staff

February 4, 2009

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The MCC squad pose in the snow at Lord's on the eve of the tour of Mozambique © Clare Skinner
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MCC cricketers will swap the English winter for the African summer when they depart for a six-game tour of Mozambique. It is the first MCC tour of 2009 and includes a coaching session in neighbouring Swaziland as well as matches against the national side in the capital Maputo.

Mozambique has been an Affiliate Member of the ICC for six years and cricket there is going from strength to strength. There are currently 17 senior clubs and 22 schools that play cricket in the country and the Association of Mozambique Cricket (AMC) has a national side and also Under-19, 17 and 15 representative teams.

Between February 8 and 15, MCC will play five different AMC teams, including the Under-19s, a Chairman's XI and a President's Invitation XI. MCC will warm up with a match against Equipa Anfitria CC on February 7.

The MCC squad includes former Northamptonshire wicketkeeper Toby Bailey, MCC Young Cricketers Andrew Clarke, Jonathan Miles and Ned Eckersley, and Leeds/Bradford UCCE's Dan Woods. It is managed by Chad Murrin, who has played 63 games for MCC since becoming a member in 1979.

"I was fortunate to visit Mozambique last October, having never been to Africa before," Murrin said. "The week I spent in Maputo was one of the best things I have done … a fascinating experience. I am delighted to be returning as manager of the MCC cricket team, the first time that the club has sent a team to Mozambique.

"As a development tour, promoting the game of cricket will be at the heart of all we do. We will be playing matches, and giving local cricketers the opportunity to test themselves and gain experience against us. We will be providing special cricket coaching, and sharing our cricket knowledge with local cricketers and officials. We are there to encourage and enthuse."

MCC will contribute to the development of the game in the region by running a coaching session for young local cricketers on February 6 in Mbabane, Swaziland. The club will leave a grant of $2500 and the ICC will donate $1250 to develop facilities and coaching programmes in the country.

MCC's head of cricket, John Stephenson, said: "MCC is committed to developing cricket all over the world and we hope that providing good opposition and coaching to Mozambique's cricketers and youngsters will spread the game further throughout the country. MCC is delighted to be visiting a country which has made such big strides in a short time and we hope the tour can generate interest amongst a new audience in Mozambique."

Itinerary

February 7: Equipa Anfitria CC, Campo de Cricket da Cometal
February 8: AMC XI, Campo de Cricket da Cometal
February 10: AMC Under-19s, Parque dos Continuadores
February 13: AMC Development XI, Parque dos Continuadores
February 14: AMC Chairman's XI, Campo de Cricket da Cometal
February 15: AMC President's Invitation XI, Parque dos Continuadores

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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