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Finn withdrawn from MCC party

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Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Imrul Kayes, Steven Finn and Alastair Cook

Steven Finn's rapid elevation to the England Test team has led to his withdrawal from the MCC side to play Durham next week

The MCC has confirmed three additions to its squad for the domestic season curtain-raiser against champion county Durham, which begins on Monday.

Middlesex’s Steven Finn, who is representing England in the Bangladesh Test series, has been removed from the original XI, as has Chris Tremlett, who Surrey withdrew last week due to his expected early-season workload.

Gloucestershire’s Jon Lewis and Middlesex’s Tim Murtagh are like-for-like replacements in addition to Glamorgan left-arm spinner Dean Cosker, who was called up earlier this month.

The four-day match, usually played at Lord’s, is being held at the Zayed International Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Pink balls will be used, partly under floodlights as the hours of play are 2.30pm to 9.30pm local time.

John Stephenson, MCC head of cricket and manager of the MCC team to face Durham, said: “I’m glad to have been able to call on the services of three such experienced bowlers for what will be an important step in researching pink balls and floodlit first-class cricket.

“The preparations are now in their final stages and all efforts are being directed towards making this a match worthy of its historical setting.

“I’m looking forward to see how the pink ball will behave under lights, and how these top players will react to it.”

Lewis, an MCC member, said: “I’m really pleased and excited to get this opportunity to play for MCC in Abu Dhabi. It will be extremely useful, high-quality match practice ahead of the championship season.

“Playing with the pink ball and under lights is a fascinating prospect and I’m eager to learn more about the pink ball and how it behaves.”

MCC squad to play Durham

Alex Gidman (captain, Gloucestershire)
Scott Newman (Middlesex)
David Sales (Northamptonshire)
Mark Ramprakash (Surrey)
Dawid Malan (Middlesex)
James Taylor (Leicestershire)
James Foster (wicketkeeper, Essex)
James Middlebrook (Northamptonshire)
Tim Murtagh (Middlesex)
Steve Kirby (Gloucestershire)
Jon Lewis (Gloucestershire)
Dean Cosker (Glamorgan)

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