Oval ball to red ball in Pacific Islands
The sporting landscape of Fiji and Samoa is dominated by the oval ball, but for the next two weeks the focus will be on a little red object as the MCC arrive for a six-match tour.
The 14-man squad includes three county players - Glamorgan's Mike Powell, Gloucestershire's Tom Stayt and Worcestershire's Josh Knappett - and the tour will also include coaching sessions in Suva.
The MCC will donate US$2,500 to both the Fijian and Samoan cricket associations and the ICC will give US$1,250 to each country.
Bob Baxter, a ten-time MCC tourist, will manage the trip. "This tour gives us a wonderful opportunity to represent the club both in the quality of our play but also in the way we conduct ourselves," he said. "We're looking forward to some good competitive cricket, played in the right spirit."
Stayt, a right-arm medium-pace bowler, is looking forward to some action after a 2008 season hit by injury. "It was frustrating to end the season fully fit and still raring to go," he said. "This MCC tour gives me a great opportunity to keep my momentum going as I look to impress the coaching team at Gloucestershire ahead of next season."
The tour opens with the first of three 50-over matches against a Samoan XI at the Garden Oval, in Tuanaimato, then the tour moves to Fiji for three further games.