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MCC Champion County match details announced

The four-day/night match will take place at the Kensington Oval
The four-day/night match will take place at the Kensington Oval

The 2018 Champion County match between MCC and Essex will begin on March 27 at the Kensington Oval, Barbados.

The day-night first-class fixture will take place across four days in Bridgetown and will be played with pink Duke balls.

The match is the annual curtain raiser for the English county season and it will be played alongside the North-South Series which is being played on March 18 and 21 at the same venue followed by a third match at the Three Ws Oval. 

This will be Essex's first involvement in the fixture in its current format, having won the 2017 Specsavers County Championship for the first time in 25 years this summer.

Last season's MCC team fell to a one-wicket defeat to Middlesex with wicket-keeper batsman John Simpson hitting an unbeaten 89 despite best efforts of bowler Craig Overton, who took a superb hat-trick.

The fixtures have been welcomed by one of the greatest Barbados cricketers, Sir Garfield Sobers, who is delighted to see the fixture taking place in his hometown. 

He said: "Barbados is honoured to have been chosen to stage the ECB North-South Series and MCC Champion County match for the very first time next year.

"We have been home to numerous prestigious cricket events and this will once again be the case as we welcome the players to our lovely shores. We look forward to hosting them, and trust that it will be an intense and high-quality showing of the game.

MCC is pleased to play its part in helping the ECB and looks forward to welcoming Essex for this fixture next year

John Stephenson, MCC's Head of Cricket, said:"MCC is delighted to be hosting the Champion County match in Barbados next year, and continuing the Club’s collaboration with the ECB.

"It has been a long-stated aim of the MCC World Cricket committee to help to reinvigorate Test cricket in areas of the world where attendances are dwindling, and MCC believe that playing a four-day pink-ball first-class match in Barbados can help to do that.

"The Club also hopes it will provide a platform for the iconic Kensington Oval to go on to potentially host a day/night Test Match in the near future. 

"The pink-ball Champion County Match utilises players from ECB’s North-South series and gives current and future England players valuable exposure to day/night cricket in the longer format.

"MCC is pleased to play its part in helping the ECB and looks forward to welcoming Essex for this fixture next year.”

Day Three from this year's fixture between MCC and Middlesex can be seen below.


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