Norfolk cricketer Ponder representing MCC in Central American Championships
- Credit: Colin Finch
Norfolk cricketer Alistair Ponder is getting a taste of international cricket in the Central American Twenty 20 Championship.
He is part of a 13-man squad representing the MCC against the national teams of Belize, Costa Rica and Mexico and Panama, with the competition at the Reforma Athletic Club in San Juan Totoltepec, Mexico reaching its conclusion on Sunday.
MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson said: 'MCC is delighted to be able to send a squad to the Central American Championship. It will be a competitive tournament and one in which we hope to compete successfully.
'The trip is the latest in the club's strong tradition for overseas tours, which provides playing members with an opportunity to represent the club globally, whilst helping to grow and develop the game in areas less associated with cricket.'
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The new county women's season is fast approaching, with five ECB League fixtures coming up in May and more games at senior and under-17 level following over the course of the summer.
The league campaign gets under way with a game against Holland at Old Buckenham on May 5 and continues against Northamptonshire (May 6, Cromer), Suffolk (May 19, Cromer), Cambridgeshire (Exning, May 24) and Hertfordshire (Tring Park, May 27).
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Then there's a switch to T20 cricket with a series of double-header games in June (11am and 3pm starts): Suffolk and Northamptonshire at Hadleigh, June 9, Hertfordshire and Suffolk at Tring, June 16, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire, venue to be confirmed, June 23 and Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire at Sprowston, June 30.
Under-17 games: League: Cambridgeshire at Postwick, July 7, Suffolk at Saham Toney, August 4, Cricket East, TBC, August 5, Suffolk at Clay Hill, August 11, Lincolnshire at Long Sutton, August 12, Lincolnshire at Old Buckenham, August 28; ECB T20 (11am and 3pm start): Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, TBC, May 30, Cricket East, TBC, July 24, TBC, August 6.
Meanwhile Norfolk and Swardeston player Bethany Harmer has been selected for this year's Essex Women's squad.
'We are so, so proud of you! We have no doubt you'll do yourself and Swardeston CC proud,' the club tweeted.
Norfolk's four representatives in the East Anglian Premier League will all be doing their utmost to put a disappointing start to the season behind them on Saturday.
Swardeston, Vauxhall Mallards, Horsford and Great Witchingham all opened their campaigns with defeats, and only the Witches came anywhere close to reversing the trend as they lost a low-scoring game at Frinton by 18 runs.
Sam Arthurton's side have what looks to be the toughest challenge of the weekend, with defending champions Sudbury the visitors to Walcis Park. The Suffolk side appear to have carried their form of 2018 into the new campaign, having beaten Cambridge Granta by 10 wickets in their opener.
Runners-up for the last two seasons Swardeston travel to Bury St Edmunds looking to get their season up and running after a surprise home defeat at the hands of Copdock last weekend while the other games involving Norfolk sides see Vauxhall Mallards welcome Frinton to Halvergate and Horsford travel to Mildenhall.
The Alliance season doesn't get into full swing until Saturday week - but there are a couple of fixtures this Saturday.
The second teams of Horsford and Swardeston meet at Manor Park in Division One while in Division Four Norwich B host Sprowston A at Ingham.
The Mid Norfolk Sunday League's first full programme of the season takes place this weekend, although there was one fixture last Sunday with Swardeston CEYMS (154-6) beating Acle (153-9) by four wickets.