MCC recently completed its first “Legacy Tour” of Nepal, which included taking a strong squad to compete in both red and white-ball cricket in the country.
As well as the matches played on the tour, the Club’s charitable arm – the MCC Foundation – launched an eight-month project in Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest city.
In collaboration with UK charity Kidasha, the Foundation will lay nets, upskill local coaches and teachers, provide kit and cricket training, and establish a new schools league for both girls and boys in the city.
MCC played six matches on the tour: two 50-over matches, a three-day first-class match, and three T20 games.
The first-class match against Nepal – the country’s first for fourteen years – was an occasion that attracted crowds in their thousands to the Tribhuvan University International Cricket Ground in Kirtipur, Kathmandu.
MCC made a strong first-innings total of 364 with half-centuries from Will Rhodes, Yasir Arafat, Will Vanderspar and Miles Hammond, before three wickets apiece for Arafat and Alex Thomson helped dismiss Nepal for 153.
With such an imposing lead, MCC were able to declare their second innings on 181 for 6 before bowling Nepal out for 184 – Warwickshire’s Oliver Hannon-Dalby taking career-best figures of 5 for 11.
MCC had earlier recorded a win and a loss, respectively, against Nepal Under-19s and the full national side in the opening 50-over matches of the tour. A further Kathmandu fixture resulted in a 113-run T20 victory over a side of both full Nepal and Under-19 players.
The squad then moved to Pokhara and played two further T20 matches to conclude the trip. MCC defeated a Pokhara Invitational XI by 42 runs and a Chief Minister’s XI by just four runs in a thrilling affair. Arafat starred with the bat in both matches, hitting 39 and 56 not out respectively, whilst Ed Young took six wickets for only 28 runs across the two matches.
Abi Carter, Director of the MCC Foundation said: “This Legacy Tour showed MCC at its best. The playing squad provided high-class opposition for the Nepali players, and also threw themselves into coaching hundreds of young Nepalis, many of whom live in slum communities with absolutely no access to either kit or coaching.
“We opened one set of nets on tour – four more are to come. This is just the start of what we hope will be an impactful and enjoyable project. In the coming months we hope to see the young people develop not just as cricketers, but also personally in terms of their team-work, confidence and well-being.”
"“The coaching element of the trip was enriching, and the experience will have a lasting memory on MCC’s players and the Nepali youngsters"
Richard Greatorex, MCC Tour Manager said: “Nepal was a fantastic experience for all involved. We played some great cricket against an array of very talented players, while our squad were excellent ambassadors for MCC.
“The coaching element of the trip was enriching, and the experience will have a lasting memory on MCC’s players and the Nepali youngsters – the enthusiasm from both groups was heartening to see. The players coached in the region of 300 children in only a couple of days.
“The impact that the MCC Legacy Tours programme with have on cricket in Nepal over the next three years, right through from the grassroots to the national structure, will be sizeable.”
MCC is committed to touring Nepal each year from 2019 to 2021 inclusive, and will look to build on the programmes initiated in the country with the help of the MCC Foundation during this period.