London: Former England all-rounder Matthew Fleming is all set to become the next president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). The 51-year-old will take up the post on 1 October this year. He was nominated by current president Roger Knight at MCC's Annual General Meeting, which took place at Lord's on Wednesday.
Currently the chairman of cricket, having been elected in October 2013, Fleming will become the youngest MCC president in 36 years, since Peter May served in 1980. "I would like to thank Roger Knight for nominating me to succeed him as MCC president. I am very honoured and very humbled to be asked to follow in the footsteps of some of the most extraordinary people ever involved in the game," Fleming, who played 11 ODIs for England in the late 1990s, said.
In recent years, Fleming has become a driving force behind the MCC Foundation's work in Afghanistan and has worked closely with the Afghan Connection charity to help develop the country's cricket programme. "Cricket around the world faces unique challenges and opportunities, and MCC has a vital part to play at a local, national and international levels. I have always believed that MCC's role within cricket is to support where necessary and lead where required, and working alongside Derek Brewer and the team I look forward to combining my role as chairman of MCC cricket with the presidency of this great club," he said.
"Next year promises to be a momentous one for the Club — when the new Warner Stand is completed, the refurbishment of the JP Morgan Media Centre is finalised and when Lord's plays host to the ICC women's cricket World Cup final. It will be a privilege to be involved at the home of cricket during this exciting time," said Fleming, who also captained Kent, making 219 first-class appearances for the county between 1989 and 2002.
Since the MCC Foundation first committed financial support to Afghan Connection in 2009, 52 pitches have been built in 22 Afghan provinces, with over 100,000 local children attending cricket training as a result. Fleming himself travelled to Jalalabad in May 2009 to oversee the first coaching camps held under the MCC Spirit of Cricket banner.