London: Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has announced that the next year’s champion county match will be played in Sri Lanka.
The match will see the MCC take on the winners of the County Championship (Essex) in a four-day class match. Former Sri Lanka skipper and current MCC president Kumar Sangakkara will lead the MCC lineup.
“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,” Sangakkara said in an official statement.
“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,” he added.
This match between the MCC and County Championship winner is known as traditional curtain-raiser to the new English domestic season. It will be played at the Galle International Stadium between March 24th and 27th 2020.
These matches used to be played at the Lord’s Cricket Ground until 2010, but since then these games have started to be played abroad.
Earlier this year, Sangakkara became MCC’s first overseas president.
“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,” John Stephenson, MCC’s head of cricket said.
“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,” he added.
The members of MCC’s team for the champion county match will be visiting the MCC Centre of Excellence near Galle, which is funded by the club and is set up by the Foundation of Goodness to provide sustainable facilities to the surrounding communities.