Cricket - Akhtar manages MCC touring team

Ajaz Akhtar.

Ajaz Akhtar.

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Local cricket star Ajaz Akhtar has been selected to manage an MCC squad on a tour of Suriname and Panama.

Former Cambridgeshire all-rounder Akhtar, who played for Peterborough Town for 28 years, will lead a 13-strong squad made up of club and minor counties players.

The MCC squad departs today (March 12) for Paramaribo, Suriname, before taking part in the fifth Central American Cricket Championships across both countries.

MCC will play Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, El Salvador and Peru as part of the tournament.

In between fixtures, the squad will also deliver coaching sessions to aspiring young cricketers in Suriname who don’t have access to quality equipment or tuition.

John Stephenson, MCC Head of Cricket, said: “Overseas tours form a significant part of MCC’s work and this trip to Suriname and Panama provides an exciting start to the 2015 programme.

“We carefully select our players based on their ability to represent the club and the spirit of cricket both on and off the field, and Ajaz fits that bill perfectly.

“The number of great Central American nations taking part in this tournament shows the increasing popularity of the sport in the region, and hopefully we can continue that growth on our visit.”

This is the first of five MCC tours in 2015, preceding visits to Denmark in July, Menorca in September, Nepal in October and South Africa in December.

The full MCC squad to tour Suriname and Panama is: Ajaz Akhtar (Manager, Peterborough Town CC), Jonathan Rea-Palmer (Captain, Churt CC), David Atkin (Chester Boughton Hall CC), Anand Ashok (Ealing CC), Thomas Wainwright (Bournemouth CC), Neil Pollard (Bristol CC), Martin Donald (Kenilworth Wardens CC), Rupert Swetman (Old Bristolians Westbury CC), Luke Blackaby (Sevenoaks Vine CC), Malith Madurasinghe (Chepstow CC), George Tidbury (Richmond CC), Harry Smallwood (Bradford & Bingley CC), Chris Watling (Aston Rowant CC), Roger Tolchard (Umpire).