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April 24, 2008
Chris Cairns will lead the MCC against his former team-mates when New Zealand kick off their tour of England with the traditional opener at Arundel.
Cairns, who retired from international cricket in 2006, is one of three New Zealanders in MCC's squad. He will be joined by his former Test and one-day colleague, Nathan Astle, and Rob Nicol, the Auckland batsman and former MCC Young Cricketer. Darren Bicknell, who cracked 132 for the club against Scotland at Lord's earlier this week, will open the batting, and the squad also includes Steve Elworthy, the former South Africa fast bowler, Paul Nixon, John Stephenson and Min Patel.
"Touring team matches are always a highlight in the MCC cricketing calendar and Arundel is a fantastic place to play cricket," Stephenson, MCC's head of cricket, said. "It promises to be a great day for players and spectators alike and, hopefully, an international scalp in the bag for the club."
New Zealand's squad, depleted by five players participating in the Indian Premier League - including their captain, Daniel Vettori - arrived at Heathrow yesterday afternoon. The first Test gets underway on May 15 at Lord's.
MCC team Darren Bicknell, Hylton Ackerman, Richard Montgomerie, Rob Nicol, Nathan Astle, Sean Ervine, Chris Cairns (capt), John Stephenson, Paul Nixon (wk), Steve Elworthy, Min Patel
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