After a recent successful tour to Belize, MCC will be continuing their overseas touring programme this week with a trip to Austria.
The tour is a short one in comparison to other MCC tours as it will last less than a week, however there is a sole focus on T20 cricket for this trip to help prepare their hosts for an important upcoming tournament – the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 European Regional Finals.
Austria, who are ranked 43rd in the ICC Men’s T20 rankings, enjoyed success in Finland earlier in the qualification process when they won the Europe Sub-Regional Qualifier B, defeating Norway in the final in Kerava.
In July of this year, they will line-up against hosts Scotland amongst other European nations and two teams will progress to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup tournament, to be held in the USA and West Indies next year. Austria will also be taking on Ireland, Jersey, Germany, Denmark and Italy in Edinburgh, when the tournament takes place in July. Two of the six teams will progress to join the other 18 teams competing next year, which will of course include holders England.
MCC will be assisting Austria in the preparations for this tournament by playing six T20 matches across four days in Vienna. All the teams that Austria will face in Edinburgh later this summer sit above them in the ICC rankings, and it will be their first time at this stage of qualification, but this ambitious team will be out to show that they deserve their place amongst Europe’s top sides.
The squad of MCC Playing Members selected for this tour is of ECB Premier League standard. Gareth James will captain the side and Karl Pearson is the Tour Manager.
James Overy, Head of Cricket Projects at MCC, said: “This tour is slightly different to our usual tours, as the sole focus is on preparing Austria for the upcoming qualification tournament. They are an ambitious federation, and we hope that we can assist their preparations for Scotland when they will be facing an excellent group of teams.
“It represents the chance for this selection of Playing Members to not only represent the Club overseas, but to play some competitive cricket at a high-intensity over a short period of time”.
Karl Pearson (Manager), Gareth James (Captain), Kieran Burge, Joshua Cantrell, Dominic Chambers, Ed Ellis (wk), David Heavyside, Aparajit Khurana, Neil Longhurst, Darryl Rebbetts, Nicholas Taylor (wk). Malinda Chaturanga Thotiwilage, Joe Stanley, Jamie Batten, Richard Ellis (Umpire).
FIXTURES (All T20)
Monday 29 May
MCC v Austria (x2) - MCC won the first game by 51 runs. Austria won match two by 11 runs.
Tuesday 30 May
MCC v Austria (x2)
Thursday 1 June
MCC v Austria (x2)