Former Glamorgan and Worcestershire batsman Stephen Henderson will manage an experienced MCC touring party during a ten-day visit to the Cayman Islands.
The fifteen-man squad, which also includes ex-England and Scotland international Gavin Hamilton, veteran Surrey left-arm spinner Keith Medlycott, and young Leicestershire all-rounder Will Jones, departed from Lord’s yesterday evening (15th April).
First up on a busy tour itinerary will be the delivery of a training session for local youngsters tomorrow, while the competitive action will get underway on Thursday 18th April, with a 30-over match against a Governor’s XI at the famous Smith Road Oval.
This is the first of six limited overs fixtures due to be played, which includes a 50-over match and Twenty20 clash against the Cayman Islands national side. Taking charge of officiating duties for MCC throughout the tour matches will be the vastly experienced former First-Class player and Test Match umpire, John Holder.
Speaking about the tour, MCC Head of Cricket, John Stephenson, said:
"The destination of MCC overseas tours is constantly under discussion, with criteria ultimately focussing on where the Club can assist with the development of the game and spread the MCC Spirit of Cricket message to a new audience. The Cayman Islands has therefore been carefully identified as an area which will currently benefit from an MCC tour.
"The Cayman Islands Cricket Association has done a good job at developing the game since the Club last toured there ten years ago, and there now appears to be a real passion for cricket across the nation, so I am hopeful that MCC’s visit will provide a further positive contribution to this ongoing work. The tour schedule incorporates a good mix of competitive limited overs cricket alongside several coaching sessions for local youngsters, which I am sure will help with the overall progression of the game on the islands."
Similar to other nations across the Americas, cricket was first introduced to the Cayman Islands in the early 1800s by British soldiers. It was not however until 1970 that the game became more organised, with a structured league being formed and initially involving five teams.
Since then, development has been steady: twenty clubs now compete within three domestic divisions and in 1997 the Cayman Islands was awarded Affiliate Membership of the ICC, progressing to Associate Membership in 2002. The national side is currently placed 32nd in the ICC world rankings.
MCC last visited the Cayman Islands in 2003 during a combined tour to Belize, recording four wins out of four during a short five day stay on the islands.
MCC will also be touring France, Cyprus, and Uganda and Rwanda in 2013.
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