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Haseeb and Duckett named in MCC squad

Haseeb Hameed impressed on debut for England Associated Press

Haseeb Hameed and Ben Duckett, who were part of England's Test squad for the tour of India, have been named in MCC's squad to face Middlesex, the champion county, in the traditional curtain-raiser to the 2017 English season.

Haseeb, who missed the latter stages of the India series after breaking his hand during the third Test in Mohali, is expected to have returned to full fitness by the time the four-day fixture gets underway in Abu Dhabi on March 26.

The fixture will once again be played with a pink ball under the lights at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, match conditions that will be of particular significance this year, given that England are due to play their first day/night Test against West Indies at Edgbaston in August.

The MCC side will be captained by Kent's Sam Northeast, and also includes the England Lions trio Joe Clarke, Tom Alsop and Lewis Gregory.

Jack Leach, the Somerset left-arm spinner who was omitted from England's Test plans this winter after doubts surfaced about his action, has also been selected alongside fellow the Hampshire legspinner, Mason Crane.

"It's special for me to be selected to play for MCC, as someone who came through the MCC Universities scheme," said Leach. "I've got a lot of happy memories of my time at Cardiff, and it played a big part in my cricketing development."

There is a call-up, too, for the promising Yorkshire fast bowler, Matt Fisher, who is about to lead England Under-19s in India.

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

"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."

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.