(Photograph) - Pupils from eight countries are being invited to compete for the first under-15 world cup cricket tournament, to culminate in a final at Lord's in August 1996 with the support of the MCC.
The Lombard World Challenge, sponsored by the finance house, will be organised by the English Schools' Cricket Association, which has circulated some 7,000 schools encouraging them to take part. The side will be selected on merit through the schools' county, regional and festivals system operated by ESCA, which has 45 county associations each with affiliated schools.
Had the tournament been in operation in 1972, David Gower and Mike Gatting would have been in the English side; Mark Ramprakash and Graham Thorpe, a decade later.
Mr Ramprakash, Middlesex and former England player, approved of the challenge as it "would expose players at an early age to the cut and thrust attitude to sport in general overseas". But some older hands from the MCC were slightly disturbed by his attitude, as they considered that cricket at this age should be more of a social than a professional game.