By Charles Randall
26 September 2013
England batsman Joe Root’s father Matthew Root is captaining the MCC on a 10-day tour to Cyprus, starting with a match against the Cypriot national side on Saturday.
Root, from Sheffield Collegiate CC, leads a diverse group of 15 players drawn from MCC members from across the country. Based in Limassol they are due to play five matches, including three against services sides.
MCC have toured Cyprus once previously, in 2007. On that occasion the club played and won three limited overs fixtures, including a four-run victory against the national team when former England captain Mike Gatting struck a powerful 44.
Speaking about the 2013 tour to Cyprus, the MCC head of cricket John Stephenson said: "When MCC first toured Cyprus in 2007, the national side had only just made its first appearance in Division Four of the ICC European Cricket Championships. Since then the Cyprus Cricket Association has done a wonderful job developing the game across the nation, and it is particularly encouraging to see the growth that is happening at a grassroots level."
"There appears to be a real passion for cricket in Cyprus, and I hope that MCC’s visit will help to further increase the game’s appeal there and generate further interest in the sport."
With the final MCC overseas tour of 2013 scheduled for Uganda and Rwanda in October, the destination of MCC overseas trips is constantly under discussion, with criteria ultimately focusing on where the club can assist with the development of the game and spread the MCC 'spirit of cricket' message to a new audience. Cyprus has been carefully identified as an area that will benefit from an MCC tour, and during the 10 days MCC aims to help with cricket's expansion on the island. Cyprus was granted Affiliate membership of the ICC in 1999.
MCC tour party:
Matthew Root (capt, Sheffield Collegiate CC)
Harvey Anderson (Bankfoot CC)
Patrick Coughlin (Sawston CC)
Andrew Hele (Barton CC)
David Henderson (Portsmouth CC)
Robert Jones (Guildford CC)
Nishel Patel (Uxbridge CC)
Tom Savill (Dulwich CC)
Timothy Smith (Saffron Walden CC)
Anthony Sparks (Northop CC)
Ben Stephens (Colchester & East Essex CC)
Alistair Wilkinson (Kenilworth Wardens CC)
Andrew Woodward (Milford Hall CC)
Manager: Jolyon Griffiths (St Margaretsbury CC)
Umpire: Barry Toombs
Saturday 28 September: Cyprus National XI (50 overs)
Sunday 29 September: Joint Forces XI (50 overs)
Tuesday 1 October: Cyprus National XI (50 overs)
Thursday 3 October: Joint Forces XI (20 overs)
Friday 4 October: British Forces Cyprus (format TBC)