MCC-Champion County and North-South fixtures to be held in Barbados
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 21/09/17 5:41pm
Next year's MCC-Champion County and North-South fixtures will be held in Barbados.
The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced the switch for both the traditional MCC curtain-raiser and the second edition of the North-South series from the United Arab Emirates to the Caribbean.
There will be three North-South matches in Bridgetown, the first two at the Kensington Oval on March 18 and 21 and third at the Three Ws Oval on March 23.
They will be followed by the four-day first-class fixture between MCC and this year's Specsavers County Championship winners Essex from March 27-30 at the Kensington Oval - which as last spring will be played under lights with a pink ball.
Durham captain Paul Collingwood will coach the North team, with Nottinghamshire's Paul Franks as assistant - while England batting coach Mark Ramprakash will take charge of the South, with the help of Andy Flower.
ECB director Andrew Strauss said: "Taking the North-South Series to Barbados is an exciting prospect for everyone involved.
"It follows on from the England Lions fixtures against West Indies A in February and March, and we hope the MCC's decision to take their Champion County match to the Caribbean will add to the level of interest and support both in the West Indies and among cricket fans at home.
"There was some excellent cricket in the first series in the UAE, most of it from the South, which has already proved valuable to the England selectors and management - and I'm sure the North will be determined to make their mark next year."
Bajan great Sir Garfield Sobers added: "Barbados is honoured to have been chosen to stage the ECB North-South Series and MCC Champion County Match for the very first time next year.
"We look forward to hosting them, and trust that it will be an intense and high-quality showing of the game."
The 13-man North-South squads will be announced, along with those selected for England Lions' tour of the West Indies, in December.