MCC news February 20, 2014

Muralitharan, Sehwag to captain MCC

ESPNcricinfo staff

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

  • Dummy4 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

  • Dummy4 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

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Dummy4 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.

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

    during WC2011,he hit first ball for boundary in every league 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..

  • Dummy4 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.

  • sam 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 !

  • ESPN 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!