The celebrated Marylebone Cricket Club is touring the Cayman Islands and spreading their love of the game amongst the youngster here.
Captained by Roland Horridge, the London-based team includes the likes of former Test player Gavin Hamilton and several former first-class players, including Stephen Henderson and Matthew Friedlander. MCC have also brought along international umpire John Holder to pass on his vast experience to local players and officials alike.
MCC is one the world’s oldest cricket clubs, founded in 1787, based at the acknowledged home of the sport, Lord’s Cricket Ground in St. John’s Wood. Steeped in cricket history and tradition, MCC was formerly the sport’s governing body in England and Wales as well as worldwide.
The tourists arrived on Tuesday and the following day coached local talented youths at the Smith Road Oval in George Town.
There was a welcome party at Stingers bar at the Comfort Suites Hotel that evening.
Their first match was on Thursday against a Governor’s XI at the Smith Road Oval.
There is more youth coaching on Friday then another match on Saturday against a President’s XI at the Jimmy Powell Oval in West Bay, starting 12.30pm lasting 40 overs.
The next day it’s a 50-over game against the Cayman national side, again at the Jimmy Powell Oval, starting 11am.
The Village Greenies are one of Cayman’s best organised and longest established clubs. Mainly made up of expatriates, especially Brits, Greenies get an envious chance to play MCC on Tuesday at Smith Road from 12.30pm in a 40 over game.
Cricket’s 20 over format has become the most appealing for spectators and players alike in recent years and that will provide some spectacular action when the MCC take on a select side at Smith Road on Wednesday April.
The visitors’ final match is in a 40-over game against the national team at the Jimmy Powell Oval from 12.30pm on Thursday April.
Local players like Marlon Bryan, Ricardo Roach, Conroy Wright, Darren Cato, Kervin Ebanks, Omar Willis and Zachary McLaughlin who all aspire to play at pro level will treat this visit as a steep learning curve.
John Holder said: “I really hope that the forthcoming MCC tour helps to give a boost to Cayman Islands cricket from a playing and umpiring perspective and that both parties enjoy the experience.”
Devon Williams is stand-in captain for JJ’s club team. He said: “MCC coming here is excellent for local cricket. It is a positive move. The fact that international cricketers are coming here is good for the youths.
“It will give them encouragement. If you love travelling then cricket can give you the chance to go overseas. Good cricket teams have to start from building up the youths.”
Hector Robinson, Mourant Ozannes
“Mourant Ozannes has been a very proud sponsor of the Cayman Islands Cricket Association over the years. It is part of our commitment to supporting organisations within the Cayman community which by their activities and objectives have the ability to have an impact.
“The Cayman Islands tour by the iconic and venerable Marylebone Cricket Club is a major achievement by the Cayman Islands Cricket Association which will greatly enhance the image and profile of the association and will bring light to its admirable work.
“Mourant Ozannes is extremely pleased to be associated with and to support this very worthy venture and we extend our best wishes for a successful tour.”
Nick Rogers, Managing Partner, Ogier
“Ogier is delighted to support the MCC cricket tour and in particular the coaching the players provide to Cayman’s young cricketers.
“We are hopeful that some of these youngsters will go on to represent the national team in years to come and we take pride in the positive contribution we make by supporting such initiatives.”
Angilynn Chan, PricewaterhouseCoopers
“PwC Cayman Islands is pleased to have the MCC return to Cayman. We feel that the vast knowledge and love of the game the MCC has to share is something that our youth can truly benefit from.”