Three Warwickshire players will travel to Nepal next month as part of an MCC tour designed to give the Asian country some real momentum towards gaining Test status.
Olly Hannon-Dalby, Alex Thomson and Will Rhodes will be in a strong squad, captained by Hampshire’s Jimmy Adams, which will play one three-day game, two 50-over matches and three T20s between November 1 and 14.
"It will be great to help the MCC with the really important work they do to support the emerging cricket nations."
The trip is part of MCC’s Legacy Tour Programme and the players will also take coaching sessions to further cultivate the enormous and growing passion for cricket which exists in Nepal.
The country, which lies in spectacular terrain in the Himalayas, has serous ambitions to follow the example of Afghanistan and become a full Test-playing cricket nation. Next month’s tour will be the first of three in the next three years as part of a concerted effort by MCC to help Nepal advance towards Test match status.
Of the three Bears involved, off-spinner Thomson will find conditions most in his favour – the turf-wickets offer plenty of turn. But Thomson, Hannon-Dalby and Rhodes, as well as former Bears paceman Chris Wright, are all set for a memorable trip.
They each applied for a place and were then selected by the MCC which looks for tourists who are good cricketers but who will also be excellent coaches and ambassadors for the game.
The coaching sessions will be rewarding for the youngsters getting advice and also for those doing the coaching, not just because Nepal is such a spectacular place but also for the huge passion for cricket there where it is the number one sport. It is a serious cricket country.
The MCC runs an ongoing programme to support emerging cricket countries around the world, organising four tours each year. They select destinations in conjunction with the ICC – in the next few months, tours will take place to Sierra Leone and Argentina.
In the immediate term, the tour to Nepal means that remote corner of the cricket world will gain another Warwickshire connection – though not the first. Former Bears and England opening batsman John Jameson was born in the Himalayas.
“It will be amazing to play cricket in those conditions with the Himalayas in the background,” said Hannon-Dalby. “It will be a fascinating trip and most importantly, it will be great to help the MCC with the really important work they do to support the emerging cricket nations. I’m really looking forward to it.”
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