September 02, 2014

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) considers Afghanistan tour‎

By Ghanizada - Thu Mar 29 2012, 9:32 am

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is contemplating a tour of Afghanistan, extending a commitment to developing cricket in the country which has seen it provide pitches in the capital, Kabul, organise fixtures against the national side and arrange coaching courses.

Phillip Hodson, the president of the club on Wednesday said that Afghanistan is a more likely destination for a tour than Pakistan, which has not hosted any international matches since the terrorist attacks on the Sri Lanka team in 2009.

MCC, which owns Lord’s Cricket Ground, known globally as the “home of cricket”, has played its part in supporting Afghan cricket by helping provide pitches in the capital Kabul, organising fixtures against the national side and coaching players.

Hodson told BBC Test Match Special: “I am going to Afghanistan to look at Kabul and the cricket pitches we have put in. Then I will go to Lahore as a private citizen. There is much more chance of taking a team to Afghanistan than there is to Pakistan. We could do something in Afghanistan and I don’t think it will be long away.

Afghanistan is an emerging nation in world cricket and cemented a place at the 2012 World Twenty20 last week following a 47-run victory over Namibia.

Pakistan is a fully-fledged Test nation but the country has been a “no-go area” for major international cricket since an armed terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus during a Test match in Lahore in March 2009.

In December, the Pakistan Cricket Board expressed confidence that international cricket could return to the country in 2012.

MCC tours characteristically comprise a mix of county players past or present and club cricketers and the MCC’s continued worldwide status – they are still the arbiters of the Laws, would mean the tour would be bound to attract a measure of attention.

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