MCC news February 20, 2014

Muralitharan, Sehwag to captain MCC

ESPNcricinfo staff
21

Muttiah Muralitharan, the world's leading international wicket-taker, and former India opener Virender Sehwag, as well as Monty Panesar and prospective England opener Sam Robson are among the players named in the MCC squad for next month's Champion County match in Abu Dhabi.

An MCC XI captained by Sehwag will play Durham, the 2013 Championship winners, in a four-day first-class match beginning on March 23 to herald the start of the English season. A T20 tournament featuring Lancashire, Sussex and Durham precedes the main fixture, in which Muralitharan will lead the side.

Sri Lanka wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene and England allrounder Samit Patel are also included in the squad, along with Patel's Nottinghamshire team-mates Harry Gurney, the left-arm seamer recently called up by England, and former New Zealand international Andre Adams.

As has been the case for the last few years, the Champion County match will be a day-night affair, using pink cricket balls; pink balls will also be used in the T20 fixtures.

"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," Sehwag said. "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."

John Stephenson, the MCC's head of cricket, said he hoped the continued pioneering of the pink ball in day-night first-class cricket would soon lead to it being taken up at higher levels within the game.

"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," he said. "The evidence continues to mount and the club believes this will soon translate into day-night Test cricket, which will help to re-invigorate the five day international game in countries where attendances are low."

The trip will also feature Lancashire playing 50-over matches against an MCC Universities Combined XI and MCC Young Cricketers on March 22 and 23 respectively.

MCC squad: Virender Sehwag (capt), Muttiah Muralitharan (captain T20 fixtures), Sam Robson, Luis Reece, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Samit Patel, Prassana Jayawardene, Ollie Rayner, Andre Adams, Harry Gurney, Kyle Hogg, Monty Panesar

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on February 21, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    Sehwag is great because he has scored runs everywhere and against the new ball. And in what audacious manner!!! He has butchered the likes of Mcgrath , Shane Warne , Brett Lee , Murali ( on square turners), Dale Steyn & Co ( remember Chennai 2008, most of the Proteas bowlers must have contemplated retirement then!!!), and it is a well known fact that he just loved the Pakistani attack. He has feasted on all of them. He never really struggled anywhere unlike a Lara or a Ponting, who had no clue of what is happening while batting in the so called flat tracks of India, against a so called weak bowling attack.

  • on February 22, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    It's Good to see 'Jaat Blast ' in abroad after a long gap. Good Luck Viru, it's time to prove yourself. Yes U can do it

  • on February 21, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    All indian wins or draws in Pak, Aus, SA, Eng, NZ, and WI have had a Shewag contribution. He was the reason India did well from 2001 till 2011. Even in losses he has scored briskly. But he did what jayasuriya did to India, blasted shohaib alktar out of bowling, Gave the Aussies a hard time, even the likes of steyn a headache in SA. his technique was not great but he is like dilshan or warner. Shewag is a ganguly product and an innovation that no one knows about. His opening in tests helped India. Also don't forget his bowling. But of late Shewag has been failing even in Ranji games. But then he is that type of player...hits a six to get to 100, 200, 300. Btw he has scored 300 in tests. Dhoni what do you want say? Ganguly saw this maverick and let him be....also don't forget his bowling

  • on February 21, 2014, 16:13 GMT

    It is pleasing to read that at last Murali is given the opportunity to lead an international team.

    To my rememberance this is the 1st time Murali will lead a cricket team, which was not extended by his school nor by his country.

    This great man should have been honoured by captaining a team way back year ago.

    Well thought MCC.

  • on February 21, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    you are correct on your observation. you mentioned the name like lara and ponting who doesnot perform well. man how can you forget SACHIN in that list. he deserves to be in your list of under performers.

  • on February 21, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    @Ben Tumilty . Good research. I was talking about the present lot. While you seem to know a lot about Englishmen and cricket, you don't seem to know English.

    Moreover most people commenting here forget that Sehwag is an opening bat, who faces the new ball. That he has scored so many runs and that too in such an audacious manner as an opener is something that deserves appreciation. A Tendulkar or a Ponting always had the luxury of a Mat Haddin or a Sehwag and Rahul Dravid taking the shine off the ball before coming in to bat during the best period.

  • landofcricket on February 21, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    during WC2011,he hit first ball for boundary in every league match.in a high profile tournament you need something extra other than talent to do..what a entertainer he is the reason i watched test match over the years..

  • on February 21, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    SEHWAG is the greatest batsman of the last decade. He scored more runs in Test matches and ODI's than anyone else Including TENDULKAR in such a belligerent manner (stats are available to check on ESPN website) He remained underrated because of high profile players like Tendulkar and Dravid. I am pleased that MCC are first to recognise this. Well done Virender, you fully deserve this honour.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on February 21, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    @Hello13- Why bring the second best batsman of modern era -after Lara- Ponting into this ? Well ,Sehwag was a useful player ,reasonably good when the ball was not doing much and esp. on 'home' tracks incl. Ind. Also had the ability to take the game away on 'his' kind of tracks if he managed to get in and stay for acouple of sessions. Other occasions he was a walking wkt to the new ball. You get what I mean though I wont say it as straight @Milhouse79 put it. Ponting ,you will be surprised has got 1 of the best records. in the sub cont. esp for non sub cont. batsmen . And that too if you consider his 2 bad series in his 1st 2 tours to Ind . Check the stats article here. Sehwag is a good player no doubt ,but is no match for great Ponting !

  • on February 21, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    @Prabhakar - the first ever triple century hit in test cricket was by an Englishman... What are you on about?! Do your research! Andy Sandham!

  • on February 21, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    Sehwag is great because he has scored runs everywhere and against the new ball. And in what audacious manner!!! He has butchered the likes of Mcgrath , Shane Warne , Brett Lee , Murali ( on square turners), Dale Steyn & Co ( remember Chennai 2008, most of the Proteas bowlers must have contemplated retirement then!!!), and it is a well known fact that he just loved the Pakistani attack. He has feasted on all of them. He never really struggled anywhere unlike a Lara or a Ponting, who had no clue of what is happening while batting in the so called flat tracks of India, against a so called weak bowling attack.

  • on February 22, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    It's Good to see 'Jaat Blast ' in abroad after a long gap. Good Luck Viru, it's time to prove yourself. Yes U can do it

  • on February 21, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    All indian wins or draws in Pak, Aus, SA, Eng, NZ, and WI have had a Shewag contribution. He was the reason India did well from 2001 till 2011. Even in losses he has scored briskly. But he did what jayasuriya did to India, blasted shohaib alktar out of bowling, Gave the Aussies a hard time, even the likes of steyn a headache in SA. his technique was not great but he is like dilshan or warner. Shewag is a ganguly product and an innovation that no one knows about. His opening in tests helped India. Also don't forget his bowling. But of late Shewag has been failing even in Ranji games. But then he is that type of player...hits a six to get to 100, 200, 300. Btw he has scored 300 in tests. Dhoni what do you want say? Ganguly saw this maverick and let him be....also don't forget his bowling

  • on February 21, 2014, 16:13 GMT

    It is pleasing to read that at last Murali is given the opportunity to lead an international team.

    To my rememberance this is the 1st time Murali will lead a cricket team, which was not extended by his school nor by his country.

    This great man should have been honoured by captaining a team way back year ago.

    Well thought MCC.

  • on February 21, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    you are correct on your observation. you mentioned the name like lara and ponting who doesnot perform well. man how can you forget SACHIN in that list. he deserves to be in your list of under performers.

  • on February 21, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    @Ben Tumilty . Good research. I was talking about the present lot. While you seem to know a lot about Englishmen and cricket, you don't seem to know English.

    Moreover most people commenting here forget that Sehwag is an opening bat, who faces the new ball. That he has scored so many runs and that too in such an audacious manner as an opener is something that deserves appreciation. A Tendulkar or a Ponting always had the luxury of a Mat Haddin or a Sehwag and Rahul Dravid taking the shine off the ball before coming in to bat during the best period.

  • landofcricket on February 21, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    during WC2011,he hit first ball for boundary in every league match.in a high profile tournament you need something extra other than talent to do..what a entertainer he is the reason i watched test match over the years..

  • on February 21, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    SEHWAG is the greatest batsman of the last decade. He scored more runs in Test matches and ODI's than anyone else Including TENDULKAR in such a belligerent manner (stats are available to check on ESPN website) He remained underrated because of high profile players like Tendulkar and Dravid. I am pleased that MCC are first to recognise this. Well done Virender, you fully deserve this honour.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on February 21, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    @Hello13- Why bring the second best batsman of modern era -after Lara- Ponting into this ? Well ,Sehwag was a useful player ,reasonably good when the ball was not doing much and esp. on 'home' tracks incl. Ind. Also had the ability to take the game away on 'his' kind of tracks if he managed to get in and stay for acouple of sessions. Other occasions he was a walking wkt to the new ball. You get what I mean though I wont say it as straight @Milhouse79 put it. Ponting ,you will be surprised has got 1 of the best records. in the sub cont. esp for non sub cont. batsmen . And that too if you consider his 2 bad series in his 1st 2 tours to Ind . Check the stats article here. Sehwag is a good player no doubt ,but is no match for great Ponting !

  • on February 21, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    @Prabhakar - the first ever triple century hit in test cricket was by an Englishman... What are you on about?! Do your research! Andy Sandham!

  • Qa_ankit on February 21, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    Gosh please make it this time. Make pink ball work for him. Its not just i hate Vijay or Dhawan, actually its not like that. But its my love for this Bullish batsman who had changed all etics of test match cricket. His reaction over test cricket when its 2.1 RR. "Lolz, what's that. Aren't you getting bored." He has changed all the maths of game. I know he is not in form and suitably doesn't deserve his place in team but I feel this will be changed with in this year. I can see him playing in 2015 WC. Actually its my 6th sense saying. God please with him. Still he can deliver if not more but 2 years atleast. Would like to wrack him up again against all the big guns. It has been and will always in India's favor. And bring out same old combo. Seh-Gam.. Amen.

  • on February 21, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    @millhouse79 a lazy fat flat track bully does not hit centuries in Trentbridge, Durban (on debut), Port of Spain, Melbourne, Adelaide, Auckland , etc. A lazy batsman cannot hit 2 triple hundreds (almost 3 as he has also got a 293) after batting for more than 5 odd hours, in whatever tracks. It needs lots of focus and concentration to bat for more than 5 hours. Go ask the Englishmen and the Proteas , among whom none has hit a triple century- in green or flat tracks!!!

  • MihirXI on February 20, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    Hi Freinds,

    I think we should stop criticizing Virender Sehwag. And I believe its the time we bring in Sehwag back because players like Sehwag does not need more time to get back into the form. Anyways Murali Vijay is doing nothing and there is no big benefit to India by having Vijay in the side. Instead think about this combination: Sehwag and Dhawan two aggressive players starting the innings in test cricket for India. And if both of them are in form, what happens to the bowling side, just imagine. I think, its time for Sehwag to be back in during England tour with an ultimatum that if he does not perform, he will be given the same treatment as Kevin Peterson. What say guys?

  • Hello13 on February 20, 2014, 21:59 GMT

    Virender Sehwag, in his prime, was a brilliant batsman. Scored runs in all conditions, despite what the people who dont know much about cricket would have you believe. Unlike ricky ponting, who was clueless in test matches in India, sehwag showed he had the ability to bat all over the world, scoring hundreds in SA, AUS, and ENG.

  • CricketingStargazer on February 20, 2014, 21:45 GMT

    @CodandChips It is a bit of a tradition to pick a mix of young players who are on the fringes of honours and some older players who they can learn from, plus the odd good county pro who was never quite top class. I think that it is a good one. Monty is not going to play another Test, but he has done a lot and a guy like Ollie Rayner can be inspired by him to emulate what he has done (and avoid his mistakes).

    I think that it is a wonderful idea to pick two legends such as Sehwag and Muralitharan. Sehwag is at the end of his career but, on his day, was capable of some amazing feats of hitting and fast scoring (remember that Test he won against us on, I think, the 2008 tour of India, when India chased down a huge target and made it look easy?) And Murali? Amazing bowler. To many fans and young players these names are legends who they will want to learn from. England's youngsters can only improve from being around them and talking cricket with them.

  • on February 20, 2014, 19:27 GMT

    @milhouse79, I myself wouldn't select Sehwag for any XI at the moment, but please show a bit of respect for what he has achieved. Otherwise, you are just displaying rank ignorance.

  • Jaffa79 on February 20, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    @ Codandchips...MCC teams are always a hotch potch of young and old. Good for Sehwag, as he can only score runs on docile flat tracks. Sehwag did very well considering that he is a fat flat track lazy bully.

  • CodandChips on February 20, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    Strange team. How was it selected. England squad player such as Gurney, Lions players Robson and Rayner, former international players Sehwag and Murali, youngsters like Bell-Drummond, seasoned pros Hogg and Adams, then the overrated Samit Patel and Monty. Strange blend.

  • i_amVIVA on February 20, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    @ bablankalhan55_youtube:

    Ordinary Sehwag, that ain't gonna happen!!!

  • ultracoach on February 20, 2014, 16:48 GMT

    Worlds Leading Wicket taker, Best Bowler the country ever produced, The man who brought so much glory to the nation, recognized by MCC to captain an international side, YET he was never given a chance to captin his own country's team. Even the as a token gesture in his last test match. WHY?

  • bablankalhan55_youtube on February 20, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    Sehwag hit a three hundred again and come back in Indian side

  • bablankalhan55_youtube on February 20, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    Sehwag hit a three hundred again and come back in Indian side

  • ultracoach on February 20, 2014, 16:48 GMT

    Worlds Leading Wicket taker, Best Bowler the country ever produced, The man who brought so much glory to the nation, recognized by MCC to captain an international side, YET he was never given a chance to captin his own country's team. Even the as a token gesture in his last test match. WHY?

  • i_amVIVA on February 20, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    @ bablankalhan55_youtube:

    Ordinary Sehwag, that ain't gonna happen!!!

  • CodandChips on February 20, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    Strange team. How was it selected. England squad player such as Gurney, Lions players Robson and Rayner, former international players Sehwag and Murali, youngsters like Bell-Drummond, seasoned pros Hogg and Adams, then the overrated Samit Patel and Monty. Strange blend.

  • Jaffa79 on February 20, 2014, 18:15 GMT

    @ Codandchips...MCC teams are always a hotch potch of young and old. Good for Sehwag, as he can only score runs on docile flat tracks. Sehwag did very well considering that he is a fat flat track lazy bully.

  • on February 20, 2014, 19:27 GMT

    @milhouse79, I myself wouldn't select Sehwag for any XI at the moment, but please show a bit of respect for what he has achieved. Otherwise, you are just displaying rank ignorance.

  • CricketingStargazer on February 20, 2014, 21:45 GMT

    @CodandChips It is a bit of a tradition to pick a mix of young players who are on the fringes of honours and some older players who they can learn from, plus the odd good county pro who was never quite top class. I think that it is a good one. Monty is not going to play another Test, but he has done a lot and a guy like Ollie Rayner can be inspired by him to emulate what he has done (and avoid his mistakes).

    I think that it is a wonderful idea to pick two legends such as Sehwag and Muralitharan. Sehwag is at the end of his career but, on his day, was capable of some amazing feats of hitting and fast scoring (remember that Test he won against us on, I think, the 2008 tour of India, when India chased down a huge target and made it look easy?) And Murali? Amazing bowler. To many fans and young players these names are legends who they will want to learn from. England's youngsters can only improve from being around them and talking cricket with them.

  • Hello13 on February 20, 2014, 21:59 GMT

    Virender Sehwag, in his prime, was a brilliant batsman. Scored runs in all conditions, despite what the people who dont know much about cricket would have you believe. Unlike ricky ponting, who was clueless in test matches in India, sehwag showed he had the ability to bat all over the world, scoring hundreds in SA, AUS, and ENG.

  • MihirXI on February 20, 2014, 22:30 GMT

    Hi Freinds,

    I think we should stop criticizing Virender Sehwag. And I believe its the time we bring in Sehwag back because players like Sehwag does not need more time to get back into the form. Anyways Murali Vijay is doing nothing and there is no big benefit to India by having Vijay in the side. Instead think about this combination: Sehwag and Dhawan two aggressive players starting the innings in test cricket for India. And if both of them are in form, what happens to the bowling side, just imagine. I think, its time for Sehwag to be back in during England tour with an ultimatum that if he does not perform, he will be given the same treatment as Kevin Peterson. What say guys?

  • on February 21, 2014, 4:46 GMT

    @millhouse79 a lazy fat flat track bully does not hit centuries in Trentbridge, Durban (on debut), Port of Spain, Melbourne, Adelaide, Auckland , etc. A lazy batsman cannot hit 2 triple hundreds (almost 3 as he has also got a 293) after batting for more than 5 odd hours, in whatever tracks. It needs lots of focus and concentration to bat for more than 5 hours. Go ask the Englishmen and the Proteas , among whom none has hit a triple century- in green or flat tracks!!!