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Steve Snell discusses MCC tour of China and Hong Kong

Somerset 2nd XI Coach and Academy Director Steve Snell was part of the MCC team that recently took part in a ten-day tour of China and Hong Kong.

We caught up with Steve upon his return to the Cooper Associates County Ground and he explained the purpose behind the tour. “We went over there to help promote the game along with the spirit and ethos that surround it,” he said. “Mike Gatting was the tour manager and he made it quite clear that he wanted us to go out there and represent the MCC in a positive light.

“There were seven matches over a nine day period which was actually quite taxing physically for someone who is now used to catching the ball with a mitt rather than the gloves!

“We started with two games in Shanghai, one against Shanghai Cricket Club and one against the China national side. The enthusiasm for the game over there was very clear and I was quite surprised by how good some of the players actually were. There’s a lot of investment in Chinese cricket at the moment. I think the Chinese government are keen to invest in the sport because they see the ethos and spirit that goes hand in hand with it.

“We ran a coaching session in Shanghai for about 90 local children, most of whom hadn’t played the game before. It was great to see them all running around, throwing and catching and having a really good time. It also makes you realise how lucky kids in England are to have so many opportunities to play the game, whether that be at school or at clubs.

“At the moment I think the amount of facilities available in China, such as grass pitches, would be an issue to the game really taking off. There just isn’t the infrastructure in place at the moment but there are so many people who are keen to play that I would be amazed if there aren’t great strides made in the next 10 to 20 years.”

“The squad then headed for Hong Kong where the MCC has a very established relationship. There we played the Hong Kong Dragons, who are essentially the development team for their national side. We also played against Hong Kong Cricket Club, Kowloon Cricket Club and Craigengower Cricket Club amongst others.

“The amount of cricket played in Hong Kong, given its size and the density of the population, is incredible because there’s no space anywhere. There’s fully functioning leagues taking place with about two grounds available to play in! The hospitality shown to the MCC by the Hong Kong Cricket Club was quite superb and the club is a fantastic place to visit.

“The trip was very enjoyable and hopefully we were able to raise the profile of the game and everything that goes along with it.”

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09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground