MCC and Warwickshire prepare to officially open the 2013 English cricket season with the Champion County fixture in Abu Dhabi.
The competitive juices are flowing
With Britain covered in a layer of snow, Warwickshire will be even more pleased they won the right to take on MCC in Abu Dhabi as they gear up to try and defend the LV= County Championship.
Likewise, the strong MCC side fielded for the fixture - captained by Durham hero Dale Benkenstein - will be pleased to feel bat on ball and get some overs under their belt.
But with professional pride at stake the match will be about more than just early season form, as MCC Team Manager John Stephenson alluded to following his side's exit from the Emirates Airline t20 in Duabi.
"The competitive juices are flowing," said Stephenson.
"And all of the MCC players are now keen to get back out onto the field and play some challenging four day cricket."
The format, as in the past three years, will be a day/night match played from 2.30pm - 9.30pm local time with a pink Kookaburra ball.
With the ICC having given the go-ahead for two countries to organise a day/night Test, this latest match forms part of the ongoing research into creating the best combination of conditions and coloured ball which are taking place worldwide.
Stephenson added: "I am confident that day-night First-Class cricket can work, and this match will add to our ongoing research on this format."
And his thoughts were echoed by Rahul Dravid in the lead-up to the match, with the former India batsman urging authorities to be courageous with the format.