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MCC complete 2022 touring programme with trip to Nepal

Posted: 4 November 2022

MCC has completed its overseas touring programme for 2022 as a squad of women’s players returned from Nepal this week.

Comprising of 15 players, the squad played six matches in Nepal against a variety of opposition and led on several coaching sessions both for local children and coaches themselves in Pokhara.

These sessions were run in conjunction the MCC Foundation (MCCF) – who have been working to deliver cricket to young people in Nepal since 2019, Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) and the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN).

The non-playing elements of the tour began with the running of an education session in which coaches were taught how to run engaging sessions and use coaching tools such as the use of questions, silence, praise, individual and group feedback.

A gender sensitisation workshop took place where the barriers which women and girls face in cricket and in wider society were discussed. Local players who were part of the MCCF programmes told of how cricket empowers them in a relatively conservative society.

The workshops, led by a gender specialist, form a core component of the Cricket for Equality project delivery in Biratnagar/East Nepal and serve as a method to facilitate discussion around gender-based norms and issues.

The squad also led coaching sessions with schoolchildren, with one group of players coaching academy players from Pokhara and Kaski, whilst three other groups headed to schools across Pokhara, where players came from schools that Kidasha – the local delivery partner of MCCF – work in.

There were between 60-80 young cricketers at each two-hour session, with an even split of boys and girls. At the conclusion of the tour, the squad donated kit and clothing to Kidasha and CWB to distribute across MCCF programmes in Pokhara and Biratnagar.

On the playing front, MCC won two of their six matches, with their first win coming against an ICC Under-19 XI in Kathmandu, which comprised of players from Malaysia, UAE, Bhutan, Qatar and hosts Nepal.

Former England international Claire Taylor, who was managing the tour, struck 97 from 66 balls as MCC made 175 for 3 in their 20 overs. The tourists then restricted their opponents to 159 for 4, despite an unbeaten 80 from 18 year-old UAE international Theertha Satish.

Taylor, who is Chair of the MCC Cricket committee and previously won 168 caps for her country, was making her 100th appearance for the Club.

MCC also tasted victory in Pokhara against a CAN XI made up of players that were either from or had come through the local MCCF funded projects. Three wickets for Jo Foster helped bowl the Nepalese XI out for 66 before unbeaten knocks from Abbie Whybrow (30) and Rachael Potter (29) saw MCC win by 10 wickets.

There was also a low-scoring T20 thriller against Nepal in Pokhara. MCC had restricted their hosts to 99 for 9 and would have fancied a tilt at victory needing 22 from the final six deliveries with four wickets in hand, but an incredible last over from the experienced Rubina Chetri saw the seamer take four wickets in four balls as MCC were bowled out for 80.

Away from cricket, the squad visited the beautiful Boudhanath Stupa, experienced the Diwali festivities in Kathmandu, admired the scale of the Himalayas, and visited The Tal Barahi Temple on the Phewa Tal (lake) followed by a hike to the World Peace Pagoda Stupa.

They also visited Gurkha and Mountaineering museums and a traditional Tibetan village, attended singing bowl meditation sessions and yoga, and headed up the cable car to the Sarangkot for sunrise. A few also braved the airways to paraglide over the Annapurna range and used the last morning in Kathmandu to fly past Everest.

Tour Manager Claire Taylor said: “Being in Nepal with MCC has been really inspiring. It’s been a while since I played international cricket so to get to play against the Nepal national side has been great but more than that, to be able to see the work of the MCC Foundation in terms of the programmes that they run in Pokhara, Biratnagar and out into East Nepal, has been exciting.

“I hope that we’ve made an impact. Firstly, with the Nepal national side, who don’t get that many opportunities to play against decent opposition outside of official tournaments, and with the MCCF, working with some of the provincial players and in the schools.

"I hope the girls and women over here see us as role models who love the game of cricket and have made it such an important part of our lives and, hopefully, they can see that they can do that too.

“We talked about the number of women within this MCC touring side who are involved in governance, coaching and administration and I think this is an important next step for Nepal. They have a good number of girls and women playing cricket, but the extent to which those women and girls become coaches or officials or get involved in the administration of the game could really accelerate the development of the game in Nepal.”

Captain Jennie Kitzinger said: “It’s been a fantastic tour. We feel like we’ve accomplished so much in the two weeks both on and off the pitch.

“The game we played against the MCC Foundation team was a highlight and all the players particularly enjoyed the spirit this game was played in. To see the smiles on all the girls’ faces throughout the game and to see the progress that they are making from everything that’s been done by the MCCF was really inspiring.

“In our last game of the tour against Nepal, it was great to see the school children arrive that we had been coaching the previous day in local schools. I took the chance to walk the boundary chatting to the kids and watching the game with them. I know I speak on behalf of all the players in thanking both MCC and CAN for facilitating a fantastic two weeks which will live long in the memories of all involved.”

The results were as follows:

Monday 24 October
MCC v Nepal/Under 19’s XI (40 over match) at Mulpani Ground, Kathmandu
Nepal/Under 19’s XI won by 107 runs

Tuesday 25 October
MCC v ICC Under 19’s (T20) at Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground, Kathmandu
MCC won by 16 runs

Friday 28 October
MCC v Nepal (T20) at Pokhara Rangashala Ground
Nepal won by 19 runs

Saturday 29 October
MCC v Cricket Association of Nepal XI (40 over match) at Pokhara Rangashala Ground
CAN XI won by two wickets

Sunday 30 October
MCC v CAN/MCCF XI (T20) at Pokhara Rangashala Ground
MCC won by 10 wickets

Tuesday 1 November
MCC v Cricket Association of Nepal XI (40 over match) at Pokhara Rangashala Ground
CAN XI won by two wickets

More information on MCC's overseas touring programme can be found below.

Overseas Tours