KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Virender Sehwag and Muttiah Muralitharan will captain MCC in Abu Dhabi next month.
Sehwag will captain the MCC side in the four-day Champion County match against Durham starting on Sunday 23 March, while Muralitharan will lead the team in the preceding Emirates T20 tournament.
The pair will lead a squad that also includes England's Monty Panesar and Sri Lankan wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene.
The MCC side will also include some bright young county talent including Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond, Lancashire’s Luis Reece and Middlesex opener Sam Robson – who has been on England Lions duty in Sri Lanka this winter.
Being asked to captain the MCC side is a privilege
Nottinghamshire trio Samit Patel, Andre Adams and England hopeful Harry Gurney are also included in the squad.
Left-arm opening bowler Gurney, a former Leeds/Bradford MCCU cricketer, has been selected for England’s upcoming limited overs tour of the West Indies.
The MCC team will arrive in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday 18 March to take part in the Emirates T20 tournament on Friday 21 March which also features Lancashire, Sussex, and a Kerala Premier League side.
Sri Lanka legend Muralitharan will be making a special appearance for MCC in the tournament, which will be played under the MCC Spirit of Cricket banner and will feature the use of pink cricket balls.
MCC will take on 2013 County Champions Durham at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in a day/night match. This is the second time Durham have been involved in the fixture, having played in the first Champion County match in Abu Dhabi in 2010, coming out on top by 311 runs.
The traditional four-day County Champion match then gets underway on Sunday 23 March and will be a day/night match also played with a pink ball.
MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson said: “MCC is very pleased to be returning to Abu Dhabi for the Champion County match this year. It is an excellent ground for competitive first-class cricket and, played in good weather, will be ideal preparation for the players ahead of the English season.
“MCC has had very positive results from these day-night Champion County matches, and has provided the game with invaluable insight into the possibilities of playing floodlit Test cricket.
"The evidence continues to mount and, the Club believes this will soon translate into day-night Tests cricket, which will help to re-invigorate the five day international game in countries where attendances are low.”
MCC captain Virender Sehwag, who is also confirmed to play in the MCC v Rest of the World Lord's Bicentenary Match on Saturday 5 July said: “I was delighted to be asked to play in this match, and being able to captain the MCC side makes it even more of a privilege. We’re taking a very strong squad out to Abu Dhabi so I’m sure the standard of cricket on show will be very high.
“It’s also very exciting to be playing under lights with the pink ball. It’s a big innovation for the game and I’m very keen to be involved in any initiative which aims to increase the appeal of cricket to a wider audience.”
MCC squad travelling to Abu Dhabi:
|Virender Sehwag||India - captain|
|Muttiah Muralitharan||Sri Lanka - captain (T20 fixtures only)|
|Sam Robson||Middlesex & England Lions|
|Luis Reece||Lancashire (ex-Leeds/Bradford MCCU)|
|Samit Patel||Nottinghamshire & England|
|Prassana Jayawardene||Sri Lanka|
|Ollie Rayner||Middlesex & England Lions|
|Harry Gurney||Nottinghamshire & England (ex-Leeds/Bradford MCCU)|
|Monty Panesar||Essex & England|