Paul Farbrace and Ottis Gibson will go head to head as they take charge of the teams in the inaugural North v South tournament.
Farbrace, England’s Assistant Coach, will manage the South team for the series of three one-day matches in the UAE next March, and England Fast Bowling Coach, Gibson will take charge of the North team.
The tournament was developed to give players across all 18-counties a chance of staking a claim for the England squad in the run up to the 2017 ICC Champion’s Trophy and 2019 ICC World Cup which will both take place on home soil.
Using the Professional Cricketers' Association Most Valuable Player rankings to highlight players with proven match-winning skills, selectors will be able to see how prepared players are for the England setup and overseas conditions.
Farbrace, who played for southern-based teams Middlesex and Kent, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for players to stake a claim in front of the England selectors.
“We will be taking this series very seriously and preparing as we would for an ODI. It’s not just a chance for these players to win matches, but also develop for their club and country.
“We have an important few years coming up in the white ball game and it is crucial the best players have the opportunity to be seen.”
Gibson’s domestic cricket career saw him play spells for northern sides Durham and Leicestershire. He added: “This season has been a great one for the northern based teams, all four finalists in the NatWest T20 Blast competition were based in the north and the players were dominant in the MVP rankings.
“We may be used to working on the same team, but I will definitely be looking to beat Farby and his team in these matches.”
Following the group stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup, eight players have already earned an invitation to take part in the tournament by finishing highest using the rankings – Ben Duckett, Graeme White (Northants); Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire) and Harry Gurney (Notts) representing the north and Liam Dawson (Hampshire); Matt Coles (Kent); Lewis Gregory and Tim Groenewald (Somerset) representing the south.
The remaining players will be chosen by England selectors later in the year.
The PCA and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough have worked closely to enhance the PCA MVP formula which was first introduced in 2007. The PCA MVP Rankings system identifies the match-winners and key influencers of matches by using a formula that measures each player’s total contribution by taking into account conditions, quality of opposition, captaincy, strike rates as well as runs scored and wickets taken.