The first three weeks of July saw a flurry of activity surrounding the Spirit of Cricket from the grassroots to the Test arena. For the first time in its 223-year history MCC sponsored international cricket - in the form of the Pakistan v Australia Test and Twenty20 series that took place in July. To show their appreciation of MCC support, and in conjunction with the Chance to Shine programme, Pakistan’s stars brought their cricketing skills to the playground as well as to our screens teaching youngsters about the thrills of the game.
To help promote fair, competitive and enjoyable cricket at all levels of the game Salman Butt and Yasir Hameed visited Essendine Primary School before the test series got underway.
They passed on invaluable tips and advice to the youngsters as part of MCC‘s collaboration with Chance to Shine.
The children were then able to see their coaches in action when the first neutral Test commenced on the 13th July 2010.
And some children were even given their very own chance to shine playing on the outfield at Lord’s during the break for lunch on the second day.
MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture
Following the Pakistan v Australia Test all-rounder Imran Khan presented this year's MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, named after Colin Cowdrey who helped to enshrine the Spirit of Cricket into the Laws of the game.
TV presenter and former Hampshire captain Mark Nicholas hosted a discussion panel consisting of three fast bowlers - Jeff Thomson, Graham Onions and Steve Finn - after the lecture when the speedy quartet discussed everything from their bowling heroes, to sledging, fair play, and speed guns.
With a further nod towards the Spirit of Cricket, Pakistan players Wahab Riaz and Zulqarnain Haider visited Cockburn College in Leeds before the Headingley Test to offer more advice, hints and tips to the children who were eager to learn from their cricketing heroes.
After the second MCC Spirit of Cricket Test in Headingley the Club began its month-long MCC Spirit of Cricket summer camp programme to encourage children to take up the sport. England fast bowler Katherine Brunt showed her passion for the game at the camp in Ilkley whilst international team-mates Jenny Gunn and Caroline Atkins put the budding youngsters through their paces at Ebbw Vale.