Friday, January 27th, 2017

Clarke And Cox Named In Mcc Squad To Face Champion County

Clarke And Cox Named In Mcc Squad To Face Champion County

Joe Clarke has received further recognition after being named in the MCC squad for the traditional match against the Champion County in March.

But County wicket-keeper Ben Cox's outstanding form has also been recognised with his inclusion to face 2016 champions Middlesex in Abu Dhabi in a four-day match starting on March 26.

Clarke has already been chosen for the England Lions five week tour of Sri Lanka which gets underway on February 6.

Then Clarke will fly directly to the UAE to be part of the North squad for the three match 50 over series against the South.

Clarke has earned his series of selections after a prolific first full season for Worcestershire in which he scored 1200 Championship runs including five centuries.

Good performances in this series of high profile matches will enhance his chances of realising his ambitions to play for England.

Cox has excelled behind the stumps and with the bat for the 2015 and 2016 campaigns..

His performances have earned him the title of 'Mr Reliable' from Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes and he signed a new four year contract in July.

It is the second time in three years that Worcestershire have had a call-up for the prestigious MCC match which is the curtain raiser to the new season.

Daryl Mitchell scored 64 when chosen to face Yorkshire in 2015 when his room-mate was England captain Alastair Cook.

Sam Northeast is to skipper the squad which also includes Haseeb Hameed and Ben Duckett – who made their full England breakthrough this winter – and spinners Mason Crane and Jack Leach.

The fixture will take place at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium and will be played with a pink Dukes ball in day/night conditions.

It has been played in Abu Dhabi under the MCC Spirit of Cricket banner since 2009.

This will be Middlesex’s first involvement in the fixture in its current format, having won the 2016 Specsavers County Championship for the first time in 23 years last summer..

Clarke and Cox will also be participating in the preceding Emirates Airline T20 tournament, featuring MCC, Middlesex and two other first class counties, on Friday March 24.  

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

"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.”

The full MCC team for the 2017 Champion County match is:  

Haseeb Hameed (Lancashire, England)

Tom Alsop (Hampshire, England Lions)

Sam Northeast © (Kent)

Ben Duckett (Northamptonshire, England)

Joe Clarke (Worcestershire, England Lions)

Ben Cox (Worcestershire)

Lewis Gregory (Somerset, England Lions)

Matt Coles (Kent, England Lions)

Matt Fisher (Yorkshire, England U19)

Mason Crane (Hampshire)

Jack Leach (Somerset)