Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) said on Thursday (31 October) that the annual four-day match between MCC and the reigning County Champions of the English Cricket season will be played at Galle International Stadium on March 24.
So, in the curtain-raiser in Galle, Essex, the current champions, will have the opportunity to take on MCC. Kumar Sangakkara, former Sri Lankan skipper, will lead MCC in the match. In October of this year, Sangakkara was elected the first overseas president of MCC.
The clash between the MCC and the champions dates back to 1970 and has been played abroad since 2011. In the last edition (2018), the match was played in Barbados, with MCC triumphing against Essex by an innings and 34 runs.
Sri Lanka has been selected for several reasons: the MCC’s World Cricket the committee will meet there in March, and the match is timed to coincide with England’s World Test Championship matches in the country.
Sangakkara said the game would hugely benefit the sport in Sri Lanka.
John Stephenson, MCC Head of Cricket, said: “The Champion County match is an important part of MCC’s commitment to maintaining a strong presence in the long-form game both domestically and globally. As always, MCC will put out a talented and exciting team in this fixture, providing strong opposition for this season’s County Championship winners. MCC would like to thank Sri Lanka Cricket for their support, co-operation, and enthusiasm in hosting this fixture and we are excited to be working closely with them.”
Kumar Sangakkara, MCC President, said: “It is hugely important to support cricket in countries such as Sri Lanka and taking the Champion County match to Galle is a fantastic way for the Club to provide its backing for the game on a global level. With England touring the country during the same period, this will make for an exciting sequence of events in Sri Lanka and, as one of the best cricketing destinations in the world, it will be a wonderful occasion for all involved. I am looking forward to playing for and indeed captaining the MCC team, which will be full of exciting young talent ready to challenge the County Champions.”