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MCC, partnered with Afghan Connection and UNICEF, held a first ever cricket camp for girls in Afghanistan on October 11.
Over 140 girls from ten schools in Nangahar Provence participated in the camp in Jalalabad, which took place on Peace Day.
For most of the girls it was the first time they have played cricket, or any sport.
Two female women's coaches from neighboring Pakistan were brought in to coach the girls, helped by former Afghan men’s international, Raees Ahmadzai.
Spirit of Cricket
MCC Committee Member and former England all-rounder Matthew Fleming first encouraged the Club to help fund cricket in the country after receiving a letter from Afghan Connection founder Dr. Sarah Fane’s son.
Through the MCC’s Spirit of Cricket campaign, the first camp was held for 50 boys in Jalalabad in 2008.
Dr. Fane’s charity has built 32 schools for over 30,000 children since 2002 as well as organizing ten cricket camps.
"This is the true spirit of cricket. she said.
"The governor of the region gave his blessing to girls’ cricket by giving out the prizes - and what a lot that will do to promote opportunities for girls.
"These camps are a good opportunity for girls to learn basic cricket skills, but more so, they are provided with an opportunity to interact and socialise with girls from all over Nangahar province."
Cricket a shining light
Cricket has been a phenomenon in Afghanistan since the ousting of the Taliban from rule.
The men’s team, all of whom learnt the game in Pakistani refugee camps, have captured the imagination of the world game, miraculously reaching the World T20 in the Caribbean this year.
MCC has also supported the senior side, with internationals Hammid Hassan and Mohammad Nabi both spending time as MCC Young Cricketers.