Cook to feature in season curtain-raiser

Cook to feature in season curtain-raiser

The opening batsman will use the four-day fixture to dust off the cobwebs after the winter break.

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England Test captain Alastair Cook has been selected to play in county cricket’s annual MCC v Champion County fixture against Yorkshire in Abu Dhabi.

Cook’s appearance in the fixture will see the 30-year-old opening the batting with Nick Compton, almost two years since the pair last opened for England against New Zealand.

Compton, who recently left Somerset for Middlesex, also has good recent history against Yorkshire, making 156 against the White Rose in the last game of the 2014 campaign.

Further down the order, another former England opener in Michael Carberry will be part of the XI, whilst Daryl Mitchell of Worcestershire, Surrey’s Zafar Ansari and Compton’s former Taunton teammate James Hildreth make up the rest of the top six.

“This is certainly the strongest team we’ve ever selected for this fixture and it’s great to see a good number of MCC Universities alumni involved too,” John Stephenson, MCC Head of Cricket, said.

“There’s an excellent blend of youth and experience, and I’m sure Nick Compton will lead the group expertly.

“Of course to have a batsman of Alastair Cook’s calibre involved shows the standing this fixture has in professional cricket and I’m delighted to have him at the top of the order.”

As is normal with this fixture, the MCC side is made up of experienced hands alongside promising youngsters, with Sam Billings and Adam Riley of Kent, alongside Surrey’s Matt Dunn, also part of the team after making an impression last term.

Durham fast-bowling duo Graham Onions and Chris Rushworth are no strangers to the particular fixture with three appearances each since 2009.

The Champion County match will not be the only game in the series, with a number of T20s against county sides including Lancashire and Sussex scheduled, with the same squad named except for the addition of Nepal captain Paras Khadka.

Yorkshire have yet to name their squad for the trip, although they hope to be close to full-strength, with England potentials looking to stake their claim before a trip to the West Indies.

MCC Squad for Champion County match: 

Alastair Cook Essex
Nick Compton (captain) Middlesex
Michael Carberry Hampshire
James Hildreth Somerset
Zafar Ansari Surrey, Cambridge MCCU
Daryl Mitchell Worcestershire
Sam Billings Kent, Loughborough MCCU
Matt Dunn Surrey
Graham Onions Durham
Adam Riley Kent, Loughborough MCCU
Chris Rushworth Durham
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