Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has announced that it will be staging ten matches this summer against a National Asian Cricket Council (NACC) XI.
The matches, which will take place at selected clubs across the country, form part of the Club’s strategy for deepening its engagement with players from a South Asian background.
Matches will be staged in each of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) core areas. The ECB recently announced a wide-ranging action plan to draw more players from South Asian backgrounds into cricket, and MCC is also determined to address the issues that are preventing more South Asian players from participating in the game.
The South Asian community represents approximately one third of all recreational players in England and Wales. In contrast, numbers of South Asian attendees at international matches and those who go on to pursue professional careers are low.
The opposition for the matches will be selected by a NACC Ambassador from each region, with the emphasis on choosing players who do not currently participate in traditional club cricket and who know little about MCC.
The eleven best performing players will represent NACC against Cross Arrows on the Nursery Ground at Lord’s on Monday 24th September 2018.
The support from the world’s leading cricket club means we are pushing ahead with the development of Asian cricket in the UK
Guy Lavender, Chief Executive & Secretary of MCC, said: “It is high on the agenda of both the ECB and MCC to ensure that the South Asian community, who are avid cricket players and followers, have greater opportunities to play cricket and watch this magnificent game.
“My hope is that these matches will assist in building relationships and creating new opportunities for everybody concerned.”
Gulfraz Riaz, the Club Cricket Conference’s Cricket Development Manager, said: “On behalf of both the National Asian Cricket Council and the Club Cricket Conference, I would like to thank Guy and MCC for this generous offer.
“Along with the ECB’s recognition of the NACC, the support from the world’s leading cricket club means we are pushing ahead with the development of Asian cricket in the UK.”
The dates, NACC areas and venues for the matches against MCC are:
Wednesday 27th June – North/East London at Belhus CC
Tuesday 10th July – Bristol/Cardiff at Bristol West Indian Phoenix CC
Thursday 12th July – Derby at Derby Congregational CC
Tuesday 17th July – Birmingham at Edgbaston Foundation Ground
Sunday 22nd July – Crawley at Crawley Eagles CC
Wednesday 25th July – Luton at Lutonians CC
Tuesday 31st July – Leicester at Hinckley Town CC
Tuesday 7th August – Bradford at Bradford Park Avenue
Tuesday 14th August – Slough at Slough CC
Tuesday 21st August – Manchester at South West Manchester CC