On an unusually cool early January day, IZA hosted our storied opposition from the MCC who were on day one of their double-header cricket weekend tour out of Sydney. Camden Park is spectacularly green and lush at the moment, a far cry from this time in the last two years when this match has either been reduced due to extreme heat or cancelled due to bush fire risk. After being on the debit side of the win-loss ledger in the last three of these matches, MCC prevailed quite comfortably in the end after being asked to bat and compiling 180-8 off 40 overs. Arch Gravell for MCC batted for most of the innings for 88, and IZA’s bowling honours were shared by the leggies M Hodge and C Manzie with 4-38 and 2-40 respectively. In reply, IZA fell 40 odd runs short, with the main contributors being Imran Masood 27, and new member Emile van Schalkwyk 31.
Post-match drinks canvassed the possibility of IZA and MCC (Australian Residents) playing twice per season, and also the planned IZA England tour in 2023 and the prospect of a match against MCC on that tour. The teams expressed thanks as always to our umpires on the day, father-son combo Davern and Gareth Lewis, and departed content to have been able to start the 2021 leg of this season with a match played in excellent spirit and in such great surrounds.