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MCC mull Afghanistan tour

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Thursday 29 March 2012,

Thu LONDON: Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) are contemplating a tour of Afghanistan, the club's president said on Wednesday, indicating that a visit to the country  was more likely than a trip to neighbouring Pakistan.

MCC, which owns Lord's Cricket Ground, known globally as the "home of cricket", has played its part in supporting Afghan cricket by helping provide pitches in the capital Kabul, organising fixtures against the national side and coaching players.

Touring teams from the club, which used to run English cricket but still retains worldwide responsibility for the sport's Laws or rules, usually comprise former professional cricketers alongside promising club players.

"I am going to Afghanistan to look at Kabul and the cricket pitches we have put in," MCC president Phillip Hodson told BBC radio's Test Match Special programme on Wednesday. "Then I will go to Lahore as a private citizen.

"I think there is much more chance of taking a team to Afghanistan than there is to Pakistan. I think we could do something in Afghanistan and I don't think it will be long away."

Afghanistan is an emerging country in cricket terms and its national team has made dramatic progress in recent years, going from the equivalent of a standing start to competing alongside the sport's leading teams.

This month Afghanistan again qualified for the 2012 World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, having competed in the 2010 edition in the West Indies.

Further details of touring plans may emerge after the MCC's annual general meeting in May

rsday 29 March 2012,

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