MCC’s work to develop cricket in war torn Afghanistan has taken another crucial step forward following the delivery of a first ICC Level 1 Coaching Course.
The four day coaching camp in the National Cricket Stadium, Kabul, has generated 24 new coaches for the country - a massive boost towards the continued growth of the game.
Prior to October this year, there was only one qualified coach in the entire country.
Cricket is the fastest growing sport in Afghanistan, fuelled by interest in the remarkable rise of the national side, who have established themselves as one of the best teams outside the Test playing nations.
MCC, under the guise of its Spirit of Cricket campaign, has been involved in Afghanistan since 2007 when MCC Committee Member Matthew Fleming visited the country.
Working with charity Afghan Connection it has organised and delivered a number of coaching camps for young girls and boys since the first in 2009.
The MCC Foundation sponsored the first ever coaching course, working with the Afghanistan Cricket Board and Afghan Connection.
MCC provided Spirit of Cricket branded clothing for the 24 participants, who were made up of ten teachers and 14 volunteers – three of whom were women from the Afghan national women’s team.
Four tutors from the UK charity Cricket4Change delivered the coaching course.
The hope now is that following the successful completion of the level one course, the participants will move on to the level two course next year.
It is also hoped that in time more level one coaches will be trained in order to continue the growth of cricket in Afghanistan and develop a network of qualified coaches throughout the country.
Alongisde Afghan Connection, MCC has played a major role in developing the game in the country since its first foray in 2007.
The Club was made aware of the level of talent in the country when a strong side, including the likes of former England captain Mike Gatting, were beaten by Afghanistan in 2006.
Hamid Hassan and Mohammad Nabi – two youngsters who impressed in the match – joined the MCC Young Cricketers that summer, before Fleming’s first visit.
The pair have continued their close relationship with the Club, with Hassan starring in MCC's Champion County victory over Nottinghamshire in Abu Dhabi earlier this year. Nabi also played in that fixture.