Kent’s Grace Gibbs and Charlotte Pape selected for inaugural MCC U19 Women’s side to play in the UAE

Tuesday 19th February 2013

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has announced that Kent County Cricket Club’s Grace Gibbs and Charlotte Pape have been selected to represent MCC in the inaugural U19 Women’s ARCH Trophy in Abu Dhabi and Dubai from Monday 18th – Saturday 23rd February.

It is the first time in MCC’s 226 year history that the Club will have fielded an age group women’s side, with Grace and Charlotte being called-up having impressed selectors with their performances for Kent CCC during the 2012 county season.

The tournament is being delivered by sports tour company Sport Arabia and forms part of a wider MCC Spirit of Cricket Festival, which will culminate in the coveted MCC v Champion County match from Sunday 24th – Wednesday 27th March.

During the six day tournament Grace and Charlotte will play for the MCC U19 Women’s side in three 50-over group matches against Durham, Devon and Essex Women’s U19s. The final of the competition will take place at the Zayed International Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi – where MCC will play Warwickshire CCC in the traditional Champion County fixture at the end of March.

MCC Head of Cricket, John Stephenson, said:“Congratulations to Grace and Charlotte on their selection for the MCC U19 Women’s squad. At the start of 2012 MCC collaborated with the ECB to enhance and expand the MCC Women’s Young Cricketers programme, and the selection of an MCC Women’s U19 side – for the first time in the Club’s history – to take part in this competition represents the latest development in this partnership.

“The opportunity to play cricket in other parts of the world is a central focus of MCC’s involvement in youth cricket, and it is excellent that we are now able to accommodate this for an U19 Women’s team through our ongoing relationships with Sport Arabia and the ECB. The partnerships demonstrate the Club’s determination to foster fresh talent and maintain its reputation as a strong supporter of women’s cricket, and I wish Grace and Charlotte the best of luck.”

ECB Head of Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, said:“The U19 Women’s ARCH Trophy is a brilliant new initiative for 2013 which will give a large number of girls, including Grace and Charlotte, the opportunity to experience an overseas cricket tour for the first time. Both Grace and Charlotte had an impressive season last year and caught the attention of our talent scouts as being high potential players with exciting futures.

“There’s nothing like touring to learn more about the game and about playing as a team, so it will be excellent preparation for the 2013 county age group season. I wish Grace and Charlotte all the best for a successful tour.”

Sport Arabia Director, Roger Myall, commented:"We are delighted in the uptake and interest in year one of this event and fully expect that the 2013 tournament will act as a springboard for the continued development the women's game. In particular, we look forward to continuing our relationship with MCC, and further promoting the MCC Spirit of Cricket message."

Full scorecards from all matches will be available to view online through the digital scoring provider CricHQ.