A New Kind of Political Spin

Influential MPs and politicians from around the world including Mashrafe Mortaza, captain of Bangladesh’s World Cup side and current MP, Mohammad Azharuddin, former Indian Test Captain and current MP, and potentially also Imran Khan, former Pakistan Cricket World Cup winning captain and current Pakistan Prime Minister, are lined up to take part in the Inter Parliamentary Cricket World Cup next week.

To coincide with the ICC Cricket World Cup, hosted in England and Wales, we have organised an Inter Parliamentary Cricket World Cup (IPCWC) and will be taking place in the final week of the Cricket World Cup. This event provides an opportunity for parliamentarians from all nations to meet and engage, and demonstrates the power of sport in building connections across the world.

Hoping to catch out their international competition is the UK parliamentary side the Lords and Commons Cricket Club, led by James Morris MP. Those who have expressed an interest in playing for the UK side come from different political parties and both Houses of Parliament. They include Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Graham Stuart, Mark Lancaster, Guy Opperman, Faisal Rashid, Toby Perkins, Jonathan Edwards, Lords Razzell, Patel and O’Shaughnessy – and even the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn.

The Lords and Commons Cricket Club has a great history of overseas tours, of important charitable social action and development work and of welcoming touring sides to the UK. This promises to be yet another opportunity to showcase the great cross-party work that the Lords and Commons sports clubs do.

This will be the first time that the Lords and Commons Cricket Club have played against their counterparts from Afghanistan, a situation made possible because the Lords and Commons have raised enough money to pay for their flights and subsidise their accommodation for the tour.

The tournament will feature parliamentary teams from the UK parliament, as well as from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, and Pakistan. The cricket will take place from Tuesday 9th July to Friday 12th July inclusive.

It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm for this tournament, and the number of politicians, as well as excellent cricketers, coming to the UK for the Inter Parliamentary Cricket World Cup. I look forward to meeting and engaging with MPs from around the world, and welcoming them to the UK for this wonderful summer of cricket.

The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, who has arranged a Prize Ceremony at Downing Street for the teams following the tournament, welcomed the players saying, “This tournament provides a great opportunity to bring together parliamentarians from across the competing nations, united by their passion for cricket. Sport is uniquely placed to connect people of different backgrounds and I hope this week’s tournament serves as a platform for building ever closer relationships between our countries.”