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MCC announce showpiece county final

MCC has announced the county season showpiece match, the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition, will return to Lord’s in 2011.

It will be the 49th consecutive year that the end of season final has been held at the Home of Cricket, with the fixture scheduled for Saturday 17 September.

Unlike last year's day/night match next year's Final will be played during the day - with the start time yet to be confirmed.

The Club has also confirmed the proposal to play the Champion County fixture as a day/night match in Abu Dhabi has been approved by the MCC Committee.

The CB40 final will be the last of five major match fixtures played at Lord’s during the season, with India and Sri Lanka visiting for a One Day International and Test match each.

Last season’s final was a superb advert for the county showpiece, with England star Ian Bell making a magnificent century as Warwickshire beat Somerset.

Showpiece history

The competition, in its various guises, has a proud history at Lord’s dating back to 1963 and the first Gillette Cup Final.

MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson expressed his pleasure at the return of the fixture.

"MCC is delighted to once again host the CB40 Final." said Stephenson.

"We always want to stage the biggest and best matches at Lord’s, and we’re pleased to continue our long association with the end of season county tournament.

"A Lord’s final is a memorable occasion for county members and a career highlight for players.

"That was the case for me when I played for Essex at Lord’s and it remains so today - anyone who saw this year’s final will have seen what it meant to Ian Bell, an experienced international cricketer, to win the cup for his county with a magnificent century.

"We hope to see similar heroics at Lord’s next season."

White ball on trial

The four day first-class season opener between MCC and County Champions Nottinghamshire will be a day/night match for the second successive year, starting on Sunday 27 March.

Stephenson added: "The Club is pleased to be returning to Abu Dhabi for the Champion County match.

"It is an excellent ground for competitive first-class cricket and, played in good weather, will be ideal preparation for the players ahead of an English season.

"The fixture also provides a perfect platform for us to use for valuable research and development for the world game."

MCC has a three-year agreement with Abu Dhabi CC, signed in November 2009, enabling MCC to use the Zayed international cricket stadium and the MCC Zayed Cricket Academy in Abu Dhabi.

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