Historic Marylebone Cricket Club From London To Challenge Kenyan Sides In Eight Friendlies

The Historic Marylebone Cricket Club is set for a two-week grand tour to Kenya. PHOTO/Courtesy

NAIROBI, Kenya- Historic Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) from London, United Kingdom is set for a grand two-week tour of Kenya.

The club, founded in 1787, was once the world cricket governing body.

Despite the modern changes in the sport, it has still retained considerable global influence in the game.

The club will send a strong squad of 13 players, plus a Tour Manager and an Umpire to Kenya where the team is set to play eight matches.

Ahead of their visit to Kenya, Tour Manager Arfan Akram said: “We are thrilled to be traveling to Kenya for such a significant tour. 

“We are looking forward to eight competitive matches against strong opposition and it is a fantastic opportunity for this set of Playing Members to represent the Club abroad.”

Previous overseas tours in 2023 saw the men’s squads travel to Belize, Austria, and Greece, and a women’s squad to Germany.

The team set to travel to Kenya will be the strongest men’s squad that the Club has toured with this year, it has several current and former first-class players.

The squad will be captained by former Kent and Leicestershire all-rounder Darren Stevens and led by Akram, who sits on the MCC Committee and served on the Players and Fixtures sub-committee between 2013 and 2016, having played over 100 games for the Club.

Stevens boasts over 16,500 first-class runs and nearly 600 first-class wickets in a decorated career spanning more than 25 years.

He will be joined by two former Kent teammates – Marcus O’Riordan, a batter who featured in the LV= County Championship and Metro Bank One-Day Cup this year, and Adam Ball, a former England Under-19s left-armer.

Current Derbyshire and former Hampshire batter Harry Came, who averaged 43.43 across 11 matches in this year’s County Championship will boost the first-class experience, with the remainder of the squad consisting of players who have regularly played county second eleven, National Counties, and ECB Premier League cricket.

In the eight games that MCC will play across the fortnight in Kenya, the formats will vary between 20, 30, and 50-over matches. 

The action will begin in Nairobi, and move to Nakuru before a coastal trip to Mombasa is bookended by further matches in the capital.

Kenya is currently ranked 29th by the ICC in men’s T20 internationals and will be best remembered by many for reaching the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2003, a tournament in which Nairobi hosted a match. The city hosted the T20 Africa Continental Cup earlier this year, with Kenya losing out by a single run to Uganda in the final.

Apart from the games, the visiting side will carry out coaching lessons in local schools and clubs, with several sessions planned across the trip.

“As with any MCC tour, coaching local children is one of the main priorities of the trip and we have some interesting sessions lined up which are part of several projects in the country,” Akram underlined.

The MCC Foundation has also been carrying out work in Kenya for the past year, as part of a program of work across East Africa partnering with Cricket Without Boundaries. Thousands of young people have already been exposed to cricket in Kenya through projects run by the MCCF.

The tour will provide an opportunity for the Club to pay tribute to Simon Prodger, who passed away earlier this year. Prodger, a well-known name in cricketing circles and a Member of MCC was an Executive Trustee of the East Africa Character Development Trust (EACDT), a UK-registered charity that works with up to 5,500 boys and girls each week in primary schools in and around Nairobi.

The opening match of the tour when MCC plays Kenya Kongonis Cricket Club at the Nairobi Club Ground will be dedicated in memory of Prodger, and later in the trip, the Club will face an EACDT XI at the Jaffery’s Sports Club.

Away from playing and coaching, the MCC squad will get to experience some of the incredible opportunities that Kenya has to offer, including a safari in the Masai Mara National Reserve.

The squad for the tour is Arfan Akram (Tour Manager), Adam Ball, Harry Came, Alex Evans, Simon Fernandes, Tushaar Karia, Abhishek Kulkarni, Cillian McDonnell, Charles Page-Morris, Marcus O’Riordan, Darren Stevens, Jack Tector, Finlay Yates, Chris Whittock, Neil Bainton (Umpire).



Saturday 4 November

Kenya Kongonis Cricket Club v MCC – in memory of Simon Prodger

Nairobi Club Ground – 30 overs

Sunday 5 November

Kenya XI v MCC

Ruaraka Sports Club Ground, Nairobi – 50 overs

Monday 6 November


Jeffery’s Sports Club, Nairobi – 30 overs

Tuesday 7 November

Rift Valley Sports Club v MCC

Rift Valley Sports Club, Nakuru – 20 overs

Friday 10 November

Kenya XI v MCC

Shree Cutchi Leva Patel Samaj Ground, Nairobi – 20 over floodlit match

Saturday 11 November

Kenya XI v MCC

Simba Union Club, Nairobi – 50 overs

Sunday 12 November

Coast Cricket Association v MCC

Mombasa Sports Club, Mombasa – 20 overs

Tuesday 14 November

Kenya XI v MCC

Nairobi Club Ground – 50 overs

Story by Ochieng Oyugi and www.lords.org

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