Club Cricket Conference

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019

Coles captains MCC in year's final overseas tour

By Charles Randall

7 November 2017

Mike Coles, of Corsham CC, has flown out to Tanzania as  captain of the MCC in their last tour of the 2017 programme.

The 11-day tour, which includes a match in Kenya, follows the MCC's recent trip to China and Hong Kong where they won all their games under the captaincy of Rupert Kitzinger, the Bramhall CC coaching director. Previous tours this year took the MCC to Mexico and Belize and that fast-rising cricket country Germany.

In Tanzania the MCC have three T20 matches and two 50-over matches scheduled at the Dar el Salaam University ground. The tour party returns home after travelling over the border to play a Kenya Select XI in Nairobi.

Coles, Wiltshire's captain in the Minor Counties Championship, leads a very strong squad, including the former Barbados all-rounder Ruel Brathwaite, a Cambridge Blue. Former county players  Steven Clark, Robert Cross, and James Hindson provide an experienced nucleus. Another international  in the party is James Dixon, a member of England’s Deaf team since 2005.  Scott McKechnie, a former MCC Young Cricketer, works as head coach at Kowloon CC in Hong Kong.

Cricket was introduced to this region of East Africa by British settlers in the late 1800s. The ICC granted Associate membership in 2001, and Tanzania compete in the ICC World Cricket League. The MCC, as so often, will be holding coaching clinics throughout the tour.

The MCC trip to Hong Kong rounded off a memorable year for the Hertfordshire seam bowler Ed Wharton. His club Reed won the National Village Cup at Lord's. The rules barred Ed from playing as a minor county bowler, but his brother Richard won the final against Sessay with a fine innings of 86 not out. Both Wharton brothers are also Capped CCC players.

Recently an MCC team of professionals, led by Samit Patel, struggled to compete in the Hong Kong Sixes. In this tricky format, with batsmen retiring not out at 30, they lost all their pool games and lost in the Plate final, for a second time to Hong Kong. The six was completed by Gareth Berg, Jordan Clark, Rikki Clarke, John Simpson and Darren Stevens.

The tournament was won by South Africa, captained by  Sarel  Erwee, a familiar face  in Surrey as the leading Weybridge CC batsman.

MCC in Tanzania and Kenya

Mike Coles (captain, Corsham)
Evert Bekker (Sevenoaks Vine)
Ruel Brathwaite (Cambridge Granta)
Steven Clark (Hampstead)
Robert Cross (Heywood)
James Dixon (Radcliffe)
Martin Donald (Kenilworth Wardens)
James Hindson (Caythorpe)
Simon Lambert (New Farnley)
Scott McKechnie (Kowloon)
Alistair Neale (Tenterden)
Sumeet Sharma (Finchley)
Tom Twiney (Teddington)
Manager: Tim Kirk
Umpire: Roger Tolchard
Scorer: Alan Jones

MCC in Hong Kong

Rupert Kitzinger (captain, Bramhall)
Yasir Arafat (Bromley)
Jonathan Crick (Neston)
Jonathan Fawcett (East Molesey)
Chris Greaves  
Jonathan Green (Bath)
Simon Guy (Sheffield Collegiate)
Hassan Khan (Finchley)
Steve Snell (North Mymms)
Oliver Soames (Plumtree)
Alexis Twigg (Beckwithshaw) 
Edward Wharton (Reed)
Anthony Wilkinson (Brondesbury)
Manager: Mike Gatting
Umpire: Kevin Beaumont 
Scorer: Russ Dickinson