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MVP Coles hoping to build on group stage form

Friday 12th August 2016

Men’s First Team

Matt Coles has been invited to represent the South in a new three-match 50-over series in Dubai and Abu Dhabi next March.

The 26-year-old took 21 wickets as Kent qualified for the Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-finals and was one of the top four players from each group to be invited.

Click here to book tickets to see England Under 19s on Tuesday and/or Kent Spitfires v Yorkshire Vikings on Thursday

Coles was rewarded for his performances with third place in the Most Valuable Player rankings for the domestic 50-over competition run by the Professional Cricketers’ Association and believes there is more to come.

The Maidstone-born Kent Cricket Academy graduate said: "As a team, we're pleased to get through to the quarter-finals and to be the tournament's top wicket-taker is a good achievement from a personal point of view.

"There's always room for improvement in every aspect of your game.

"Bowling-wise, the 50-over game is slightly different to T20 as the batsmen aren't looking to whack you for six every ball and if you lose early wickets in the One-Day Cup, batsmen can't play with the same freedom

"It's crucial getting early wickets and I've managed to do that this summer in this tournament.

"I'm looking to contribute runs to the team on a more consistent basis. I was happy with my century last year at The Kia Oval and scoring 90 at Essex gives me confidence in my batting."

The 13-man North and South squads will be finalised by the England selectors later this year, with the head coach of each team to be appointed later in August – and the series introduced by Andrew Strauss, the Director of England Cricket, as a significant part of the selection process for next year’s ICC Champions Trophy, and the World Cup that follows on home soil two years later.

Coles will line up alongside England T20 star Liam Dawson and Somerset duo Lewis Gregory and Tim Groenewald in the South squad against a North team including England bowlers past and present Tim Bresnan and Harry Gurney as well as Northamptonshire duo Ben Duckett and Graeme White.

Coles said: "I’ve not had much chance to think about March but for now, I want to focus on my job at Kent and that will stand me in good stead.

“The MVP rankings do highlight consistent performances and I hope to take that form into that environment and do well.

“Fingers crossed I can show the selectors what I can do and it’s nice to be recognised for all the hard work I’ve put in at Kent.”

Click here to book tickets to see England Under 19s on Tuesday and/or Kent Spitfires v Yorkshire Vikings on Thursday