Curtain-raiser perfect for Peters
Stephen Peters says this week’s Champion County fixture represents “a lovely way to start the season”.
Reliable Northamptonshire opener Peters is part of the MCC squad preparing to take on 2011 LV= County Championship winners Lancashire in a four-day fixture in Abu Dhabi, starting tomorrow.
Having featured for MCC in last year’s curtain-raiser against Nottinghamshire, the 33-year-old is thrilled to have been selected for a second time.
“I really enjoyed the trip last year, so I was delighted to get the call again,” Peters told ecb.co.uk.
“You get well looked after by MCC and I really enjoyed the cricket last year. Obviously the four-dayer is the season-opener and a real first-class game, but it’s also a nice enjoyable trip as well. It’s a lovely way to start the season.”
Along with Lancashire pair Stephen Moore and Gary Keedy, who also turned out for MCC in 2011, Peters is one of the few players involved to have experienced conditions in the Middle East, where a pink ball and floodlights will be used again.
Reflecting on his previous outing at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, he highlighted the difficulties batsmen can expect to face.
“There are certainly trickier periods in the evening,” he explained. “The first session is not too bad and the last session is usual day-night stuff, but there’s probably an hour in that middle session, at that twilight sort of time, where it can be quite tricky.
“But overall conditions are very good and it’s obviously a great venue.”
At the beginning of last summer, few would have anticipated Lancashire earning the right to play in this fixture.
Their shock triumph - the Red Rose county were crowned outright champions for the first time in 77 years - was well received by Peters.
“I was delighted they won it last year,” he replied when asked for his thoughts on Lancashire’s success.
“I’ve played against Keeds (Keedy), Chappie (Glen Chapple), Chilly (Mark Chilton) and people like that for many years now and they are real deserving guys.
“Then there are all of those young guys; there are some seriously talented cricketers there. I played against Simon Kerrigan last year, in a second XI fixture during the Twenty20 period, and was really impressed with his bowling.
“All of those young guys are just starting their careers and I think it was a great mix of old and young players that won that championship. They will be a stiff challenge, no doubt.”