MCC squads set for Middle East test
The MCC Young Cricketers and a combined Universities team will head to the United Arab Emirates later this month for a pre-season training camp.
After last year’s successful trip, the squads will travel to the Middle East on March 17 for an 11-day period to prepare for the 2012 season.
As well as taking advantage of the facilities at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, the MCC Young Cricketers will play a two-day match against county champions Lancashire, while the MCC Universities side will take on Durham in a 40-over fixture.
The tour will finish with both sides facing each other in a three-day friendly.
Oxford and Durham MCCU spinners Charlie Walker and Nathaniel Watkins will miss the pre-season schedule to fine tune their skills at Global Cricket School in Mumbai.
MCC’s head of cricket John Stephenson said: “The pre-season tour to the UAE demonstrates MCC’s ongoing commitment to the development of young cricketing talent.
“The matches against Lancashire and Durham – two of the strongest sides in county cricket – will provide a tough test, but will present the players with an opportunity early in the season to showcase their talent on a big stage.
“I am also delighted that MCC can support young spinners Charlie Walker and Nathaniel Watkins by giving them the chance to hone their skills in a country renowned for its spin bowling heritage, and in a perfect learning environment at the Global Cricket School.”
MCC head coach Mark Alleyne added: “I’m really looking forward to watching how this new group of players fares against the county teams.
“The contest out in the middle is sure to be a stern challenge for the guys, but perhaps more significantly the matches will give all of the YCs and MCCU players a close-up look at how the pros prepare, and the intensity at which they train.
“The whole experience will demonstrate exactly what is required to play first-class cricket, and I hope that they make the most of the opportunity – in addition to taking advantage of the superb facilities available at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.”