Haseeb Hameed has withdrawn from the MCC team to face the 2016 Specsavers County Championship winners Middlesex in Abu Dhabi next month, to have a sinus operation.
The Lancashire opener, who won his first three England Test caps in India last year before suffering a broken finger, is currently in Sri Lanka with the Lions.
He will play in the second four-day game against Sri Lanka A, which starts in Dambulla on Friday, then head home for surgery.
“It’s something I’ve needed to do for a while, and this is a good time to do it,” said the 20-year-old. “It’s disappointing to miss the chance to play for the MCC against Middlesex, because it was an honour to be selected. But by having the operation in early March, I will be fit for the start of the season with Lancashire.”
Hameed has been replaced in the MCC squad by Yorkshire opener Alex Lees, who will be joined by his county team-mate Liam Plunkett – because a third Yorkshire player, Matt Fisher, has also withdrawn from the squad after suffering a groin injury when captaining England Under-19s in India earlier this month.
John Stephenson, MCC’s Head of Cricket, said: “Of course it is a shame that Haseeb and Matt have had to withdraw from the squad, but we have two excellent replacements in Liam and Alex who will add experience and firepower. Our team is full of exciting young English cricketers and I am really looking forward to seeing them in what should be a very competitive and engaging match.”
MCC team for 2017 Champion County match
Alex Lees (Yorkshire England Lions)
Tom Alsop (Hampshire, England Lions)
Sam Northeast (Kent) captain
Ben Duckett (Northamptonshire, England)
Joe Clarke (Worcestershire, England Lions)
Ben Cox (Worcestershire)
Lewis Gregory (Somerset, England Lions)
Matt Coles (Kent, England Lions)
Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire, England)
Mason Crane (Hampshire)
Jack Leach (Somerset, England Lions)