A squad of MCC men’s players toured Greece last month, in another of the Club’s successful overseas tours that have taken place in 2023.
It was the first time the Club had toured Greece since 2011 and a squad of 13 players, plus a Tour Manager and Umpire, travelled to Corfu in September.
MCC won three of their five matches on the trip, with most of the action taking place at the Marina Cricket Ground in Gouvia, Corfu, which has previously played host to men’s T20 International matches involving Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia.
The first day was spent providing coaching sessions for local cricketers on the historic Liston Ground between the Mandraki Marina and Corfu Old Town, where cricket has been played for 200 years.
There was also time for impromptu training with the Romanian Women's team before their match against Luxembourg in the semi-final of the ICC Greece Women's T20 International Cricket Championship. The tourists then attended the end of tournament presentation given by the Hellenic Cricket Federation.
The cricketing action for MCC began the following day with two T20 matches against the Greek national side, who were preparing for a tournament in Spain.
Despite 70 from Gareth Clough in the first match, the Club could not chase the target of 184, falling 21 runs short. MCC fared better in the second game, winning by 48 runs thanks to unbeaten 48 from captain Fabian Taylor.
Before the Club played Byron CC, the squad was given a tour of Corfu Old Town and treated to spectacular hospitality from their hosts, who will celebrate their bicentenary in 2025. The 25-over match was a thriller. Clough amassed his second half-century of the tour (74 not out) to help MCC post 203 for 6, and Byron fell nine runs short of their target, reaching 194 for 7.
The next day saw MCC face a Corfu XI in a T20 match. The hosts made 162 for 8 after winning the toss and MCC fell 20 runs short in the chase. The tour ended with victory in the final match against the Hellenic Cricket Federation, with Ed Young hitting an unbeaten 88 as MCC chased 125 without the loss of a single wicket in only six overs.
The Club is incredibly grateful to everyone at Corfu CC, Byron CC, and the Hellenic Cricket Federation for their hospitality across a very special week.
MCC have one more tour planned in 2023 when a men’s squad will depart for Kenya at the start of November.
The squad for the tour of Greece was: James Nicholls (Manager), Fabian Taylor (Captain), Gareth Clough, Mark Fowler, Luke Jarvis, Alexander Knapman, Ryan Lewis (wk), Steven Mehra, Hugh Pilkington (wk), Harry Smallwood, Steve Stacey, Hugh Thomas, James Thompson, Ed Young, Charles Fellows-Smith (Umpire)
Sunday 10 September
Greece v MCC – Greece beat MCC by 21 runs
Greece v MCC – MCC beat Greece by 48 runs
Monday 11 September
Byron CC v MCC – MCC beat Byron by nine runs
Tuesday 12 September
Corfu XI v MCC – Corfu XI beat MCC by 20 runs
Wednesday 13 September
Hellenic Cricket Federation XI v MCC – MCC beat HCF by 10 wickets