Ali selected for MCC trip to Corfu

BURY St Edmunds cricketer Ali Douglas is off on a five-day tour to Corfu with the MCC on Sunday.

The tour will assist the Greek cricket team with their preparations for the ICC European Division 2 Twenty20 Championship in Belgium at the end of June.

Douglas is in a diverse touring party, which comprises of MCC members from across the country.

The tour is the third one of MCC’s 2011 season and encompasses three 50-over matches against a mix of the top club sides in the Mediterranean country and one Twenty20 clash against the Greek national side.

It is anticipated that the matches will help the Hellenic players to hone their skills ahead of the ICC T20 Championship, where they will compete against the likes of Spain, Switzerland and the Isle of Man in the shortest format of the game.

The MCC players will also deliver a special coaching session for local primary schools and assist with the running of a regional Kwik Cricket tournament.

MCC teams are becoming regular visitors to Greece, having toured twice in the past 15 years, most recently in 2003. The club aims to help continue the ongoing expansion of cricket across the nation, which was granted Affiliate Membership of the ICC in 1995.

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Ex-Essex all-rounder John Stephenson, who is MCC’s Head of Cricket, said: “I am really pleased that Alisdair has been selected for this tour, and I am certain that he will be a great ambassador for the club.

“MCC is committed to increasing the international appeal of cricket and developing the game all over the world. We very much hope therefore that by providing good opposition for Greece’s national side, alongside the delivery of some coaching in local schools, that this will help to spread the game further throughout the country.

“The club’s relationship with the Hellenic Cricket Federation and other governing bodies across Europe forms an important part of developing talent in emerging nations. One of the initial objectives for this tour is to support Greece’s preparations for the ICC T20 Championship next month, but I am hopeful that it will also have a longer-lasting effect on the development of cricket in a nation which is steeped in sporting tradition.”

MCC will also be touring Bermuda later this year.

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