Porterfield to lead ICC XI
The International Cricket Council today announced its Combined Associate and Affiliate XI, which will take on England in a three-day practice match at the ICC global cricket academy in Dubai from January 7-9.
The match is part of England’s preparations for the series against Pakistan with the first Test at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium from January 17.
Ireland’s Will Porterfield has been named captain of the side which is made up of players selected from the ICC Intercontinental Cup. Five of those countries: Ireland, Scotland, Namibia, United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan are represented.
While the Netherlands players were unavailable due to other commitments, players from Canada and Kenya failed to make the final squad. The ICC Combined AM XI has been selected after a nominations process which involved coaches of the eight sides.
The list was then shortlisted to 24 players before a 12-member squad was finalised by the eight ICC Intercontinental Cup coaches, the two ICC global cricket academy coaches – Mudassar Nazar and Dayle Hadlee – and ICC’s high performance manager Richard Done.
Porterfield, who won the ICC Associate ODI Player of the Year award at the ICC Awards in Bengaluru in 2009, said: “It will be a great honour for me to lead out the Associate and Affiliate team against the number one team in the longer format of the game.
“If you look through their squad they are full of world class cricketers and it will be a great test for us against whatever eleven they put out.
"Another challenge we face is coming together as a group ourselves, we have played against each other a few times but we will have to gel pretty quickly in the few days’ preparation we have in order to put in a good performance.
“As this is such a great chance for all the individuals to showcase their talent against the number one Test team in the world, I do not see this being an issue at all.”
England team director Andy Flower added: “We are delighted to be playing a warm-up fixture against the ICC Combined AM XI in Dubai at the ICC’s global cricket academy.
“I’m sure that the match will not only provide the England squad a challenging first warm-up ahead of the Pakistan series but it will also give the AM XI players, many of whom are part of the extremely successful Gatorade ICC high performance programme an opportunity to play a three-day fixture at the highest level.
“I am sure this match it will aid the current players to improve and provide a motivation for future players.”
Combined AM XI squad: Will Porterfield, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin and Paul Stirling (all Ireland), Saqib Ali (UAE), Kyle Coetzer and Majid Haq (both Scotland), Hamid Hassan and Mohammed Nabi and Mohammed Shahzad (all Afghanistan), Christi Viljoen and Craig Williams (both Namibia)