Nepal to play Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord's

London: Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) will play Nepal in a friendly match at Lord's in 2016, and have confirmed their tour to the Himalayan nation will go ahead in November this year.

The tour to Nepal, which will provisionally take place between from November 12-24, had been under review after the major earthquake earlier this year but was confirmed by MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson after a short fact-finding mission to the country.

Nepal's national side will then play their first ever match at the Home of Cricket next July against MCC, with the date to be announced alongside the full 2016 fixture list later this year.

The historic match will also form part of the celebrations of 200 years of Nepal-UK relations. Paras Khadka, who captained the national team to victories over Afghanistan and Hong Kong at the most recent ICC World T20 in Bangladesh last year, was part of the MCC team for this year's Emirates Airline T20 competition in Dubai.

In addition, two Nepalese young players, Naresh Budhayer and Rajesh Magar, spent some time at Lord's in 2013 as part of the MCC Young Cricketers scheme, under the tutelage of former England all-rounder Mark Alleyne.

There are now plans in place for this exchange to become a regular feature, as MCC helps to develop cricket in the country at a junior level to support the longer-term interests of the national side.

MCC also held a ground collection for the Gurkha Welfare Trust Earthquake Response Fund on day three the England v New Zealand Test match earlier this summer, with spectators at Lord's raising more than £20,000 for the appeal. Colour Sergeant Padam Gurung of the Royal Gurkha Rifles also rang the iconic five-minute bell ahead of that day's play.

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