Marylebone Cricket Club is not only the world's most prestigious cricket club, it is also the most active cricket club. At any given moment in the year, there is usually an MCC member playing or coaching cricket somewhere in the world. The Club's sides regularly tour overseas to all cricket-playing nations and to developing ones as well - to destinations as diverse as Tanzania and Cyprus - helping to increase cricket's international appeal.
The MCC Foundation complements MCC’s work in promoting the game of cricket abroad, especially to young people. We are currently working with our charity partners on major projects in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Rwanda and, in 2014, supported the Chinese Women's Cricket Team's tour to England.
"The true Spirit of Cricket is spreading joy and hope to this war-torn nation. It is a new story for Afghanistan…a good news story at last."
- Dr Sarah Fane, Founder, Afghan Connection
MCC has supported Afghan Connection’s (AC) cricket projects since 2008, when the Afghan Cricket Team was in the World Cricket League Division 5 and their Academy was a dust field in Kabul. This year, Afghanistan is playing in the ICC World Cup and cricket is the most popular sport in the country.
Through its Foundation, MCC has helped AC to build 50 pitches in schools and coach teachers in the skills of cricket. More than 3,000 boys and girls have benefitted from our coaching camps, with one attendee now in the U16 National team and another representing his country in the World Cup 2015.
At the end of each year, tournaments are held between the schools where pitches have been built. The students’ slogan is “Put down your guns and pick up your bats!”. Not only is cricket a force for peace, but it also brings much-needed joy and hope to a nation which has suffered from years of war.
"Sport is a great way to bring a country together and cricket is one of the fastest-growing sports in Rwanda, with children from all different backgrounds increasingly enthusiastic to pick up a bat and ball. I wish the RCSF every success."
- David Cameron, British Prime Minister and RCSF Patron
The MCCF has raised funds to support the Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation (RCSF). This project aims to promote reconciliation through sport by building an international standard cricket stadium on the outskirts of Kigali which will provide recreation and empowerment for those living in the local community. The project embraces the ethos of sustainable development, harnessing local labour and resources to build the stadium (completed 2017), and so providing the community with much needed work and income.
Now that Phase 1 – the building of the stadium – has been completed, the RCSF is working on Phase 2. This involves setting up on-site HIV testing facilities and a pavilion with a restaurant and conference rooms.
"Our heartfelt gratitude goes to Marylebone Cricket Club in the UK for sponsoring the entire project, beginning with the Tsunami relief match at Lord's, which has helped to make it all happen."
- Foundation of Goodness founder, Kushil Gunasekera
Since MCC staged its Tsunami relief match in June 2005, the Club has forged close links with the Foundation of Goodness in Sri Lanka and continues to support the MCC Centre of Excellence and the MCC Cricket Ground at Sri Sumangala College, where nearly 150 children attend training every week.
Sri Sumangala College promotes and harnesses local talent and has produced some fine young cricketers, some of whom have been further supported by MCC Foundation scholarships to reach higher levels. Foundation of Goodness founder, Kushil Gunasekera, commented: "The MCC Centre of Excellence, created through the generosity and compassion of the MCC, is an amazing facility that provides opportunities for rural disadvantaged children, young people, and women, to improve their future well-being and prosperity."