Legendary former Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens is set to skipper a 13-strong squad heading to Kenya for a two-week tour.
Stevens, who boasts more than 16,500 first-class runs and nearly 600 first-class wickets in a decorated career spanning more than 25 years, will be leading what has been described as the strongest MCC men’s squad of the year.
Kent retired their No.3 shirt at the end of the 2022 summer as popular talisman Stevens, now 47, left.
Kent batsman Marcus O’Riordan and former Kent bowler Adam Ball will also be on the tour as the MCC start an eight-game trip today.
The formats will vary between 20, 30 and 50-over matches and the action will begin in Nairobi and move north to Nakuru, before a coastal trip to Mombasa is book-ended by further matches in their capital.
Tour manager Arfan Akram said: “We are thrilled to be travelling to Kenya for such a significant tour.
“We are looking forward to eight competitive matches against strong opposition and it’s a fantastic opportunity for this set of playing members to represent the club abroad.
“As with any MCC tour, coaching local children is one of the main priorities of the trip and we have some interesting sessions lined up which are part of several projects in the country.”
This tour will provide a chance for the club to pay tribute to Simon Prodger, who died earlier this year.
Prodger, a well-known name in cricketing circles and a Member of MCC, was an executive trustee of the East Africa Character Development Trust (EACDT), a UK registered charity which works with up to 5,500 boys and girls each week in primary schools in and around Nairobi.
The schools are all situated in socially challenged areas and the programme promotes character development and life skills, using cricket as the mechanism by which the programme is delivered.
The first match of the trip when MCC play Kenya Kongonis Cricket Club at the Nairobi Club Ground will be dedicated in memory of Prodger and, later in the tour, the club will face an EACDT XI at the Jaffery’s Sports Club.
He was posthumously recognised by MCC in the summer when he was selected as an honorary Community Cricket Hero for his immeasurable contribution to the recreational game.