19th June, England v South Africa, 09:30 GMT
Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has announced that a fourteen-strong MCC U19 Women’s squad will represent the Club in the inaugural U19 Women’s ARCH Trophy in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from Monday 18th - Saturday 23rd February.
The tournament is being delivered by sports tour company Sport Arabia and forms part of a wider MCC Spirit of Cricket Festival, which will culminate in the coveted MCC v Champion County match from Sunday 24th - Wednesday 27th March.
It is the first time in MCC’s 226 year history that the Club will have fielded an age group women’s side, with players being selected in partnership with the ECB – directly from the England Women’s Development Programme. The move represents the latest stage in MCC’s ongoing work with the ECB to support the continued growth of women’s cricket in England.
During the six day tournament the MCC U19 Women’s side will play three 50-over group matches against Durham, Devon and Essex Women’s U19s. The final of the competition will take place at the Zayed International Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi – where MCC will play Warwickshire CCC in the traditional Champion County fixture at the end of March.
MCC Head of Cricket, John Stephenson, said: "I am absolutely delighted that MCC is working alongside Sport Arabia to deliver the first annual U19 Women’s ARCH Trophy in Dubai and the UAE this month, as part of a wider MCC Spirit of Cricket Festival.
"At the start of 2012 MCC collaborated with the ECB to enhance and expand the MCC Women’s Young Cricketers programme, and the selection of an MCC Women’s U19 side – for the first time in the Club’s history – to take part in this competition represents the latest development in this partnership.
"The opportunity to play cricket in other parts of the world is a central focus of MCC’s involvement in youth cricket, and it is excellent that we are now able to accommodate this for an U19 Women’s team through our ongoing relationships with Sport Arabia and the ECB."
ECB Head of England Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, said: "The U19 Women’s ARCH Trophy is a brilliant new initiative for 2013 which will give a large number of girls the opportunity to experience an overseas cricket tour for the first time. There’s nothing like touring to learn more about the game and about playing as a team, so it will be excellent preparation for the 2013 county age group season. I wish all the participants a successful tour.
"I am delighted that nearly every member of the England Women’s U19 Development Programme will be participating in the tournament, either with their county or as part of the MCC squad."
Sport Arabia Director, Roger Myall, said: "We are delighted in the uptake and interest in year one of this event and fully expect that the 2013 tournament will act as a springboard for the continued development the women's game. In particular, we look forward to continuing our relationship with MCC, and further promoting the MCC Spirit of Cricket message."
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