Sam Northeast and Matt Coles in MCC Champion County team

Friday 27th January 2017

Men’s First XI

Sam Northeast and Matt Coles in MCC Champion County team

Kent captain Sam Northeast will lead a Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) side including teammate Matt Coles in the 2017 Champion County match in Abu Dhabi on Sunday 26 March.

The duo will play Middlesex in the annual, four-day curtain raiser for the English county season, the week after competing in the North v South 50-over series, also in the UAE.

The fixture will take place at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium and will be played with a pink Dukes ball in day/night conditions.

It will be good preparation for the players as Kent face Nottinghamshire in a floodlit Specsavers County Championship match at Trent Bridge in the last week of June.

Northeast will captain a youthful side, which includes England duo Ben Duckett and Haseeb Hameed as well as Lions trio Joe Clarke, Tom Alsop and Lewis Gregory.

Somerset and former Cardiff MCCU bowler Jack Leach has also been selected alongside Hampshire leg spinner Mason Crane.

This will be Middlesex’s first involvement in the fixture in its current format, having won the Specsavers County Championship for the first time in 23 years.

The preceding Emirates Airline T20 tournament, featuring MCC, Middlesex and two other first class counties, will take place on Friday 24th March.

Last season’s MCC team overcame 2015 County Champions Yorkshire by four wickets thanks to impressive performances from Ian Bell, Jake Ball and James Tredwell.

John Stephenson, MCC Head of Cricket, said: “Having worked closely with the England selectors to assemble this group, I am very pleased with the fantastic talent we have at our disposal.

“Haseeb Hameed, Joe Clarke and Ben Duckett are three of the most exciting young batsmen in the country at the moment, and I’m looking forward to seeing them.

“We’ve also selected a youthful and varied bowling attack which I’m sure will pose problems for the Middlesex batsmen. The facilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai remain excellent for first class cricket and we’re looking forward to a competitive match.”

The full MCC team for the 2017 Champion County match is: Haseeb Hameed (Lancashire, England), Tom Alsop (Hampshire, England Lions), Sam Northeast (Kent, captain), Ben Duckett (Northamptonshire, England), Joe Clarke (Worcestershire, England Lions), Ben Cox (Worcestershire), Lewis Gregory (Somerset, England Lions), Matt Coles (Kent, England Lions), Matt Fisher (Yorkshire, England U19), Mason Crane (Hampshire, England U19), Jack Leach (Somerset, England Lions)

2017 Kent Cricket tickets are now on sale