Gidman to captain MCC
Gloucestershire skipper Alex Gidman will lead the MCC against champion county Durham in Abu Dhabi.
Last Updated: 26/01/10 9:06pm
Gloucestershire skipper Alex Gidman will lead the MCC against champion county Durham in Abu Dhabi at the end of March.
Gidman has been asked to captain a side that includes a mixture of youth and experience, with 40-year-old former England batsman Mark Ramprakash alongside highly-rated trio Steven Finn, Dawid Malan and James Taylor.
The county season opener, the first of its kind to be played away from Lord's, will also serve as a first-class trial for matches under floodlights using pink balls.
Finn and Malan are joined by a third Middlesex representative in the side, with opener Scott Newman also selected.
Essex and England wicketkeeper James Foster will take the MCC gloves for the third year in a row, while Northamptonshire duo David Sales and James Middlebrook have also been picked.
Hampshire fast bowler Chris Tremlett and fellow seamer Steve Kirby, of Gloucestershire, complete the XI.
John Stephenson, MCC head of cricket and manager of the MCC team, emphasised the importance of the experimental aspects of the fixture.
"This is a traditional fixture, but there's little else about this match that is traditional," Stephenson said.
"It's not just a contest between MCC and the champion county, but a crucial step in researching the pink ball and first-class cricket under floodlights.
"We're very pleased to be fielding an extremely talented MCC team in what will undoubtedly be a tough test against the strongest county in England.
"From speaking to our players in recent weeks, it's clear there is a passion to play in this game: not only so they can kick-start their season but because they feel they can contribute to our wider research for the good of the game. We're really looking forward to the match."
Gidman, meanwhile, was thrilled with his appointment.
"I was delighted to be invited to play in this match, and to be asked to captain is a huge privilege," he said.
"My family have strong ties with MCC, and both myself and my brother Will spent time as MCC Young Cricketers, so I cannot wait to lead out the MCC team in such an historic fixture.
"Using pink balls under lights in a four-day, first-class match promises to be a very interesting experiment and certainly something that every player will be looking forward to being a part of."
MCC XI: A Gidman (Gloucs, capt), S Newman (Middx), M Ramprakash (Surrey), D Sales (Northants), D Malan (Middx), J Taylor (Leics), J Foster (Essex, wkt), J Middlebroook (Northants), C Tremlett (Hants), S Kirby (Gloucs), S Finn (Middx)