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MCC to be captained by Virender Sehwag, Muttiah Muralitharan in Abu Dhabi

Virender Sehwag: Excited to be named captain of MCC

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Cricket legends Virender Sehwag and Muttiah Muralitharan will share the MCC captaincy during their trip to Abu Dhabi.

India batsman Sehwag will be in charge for the clash with county champions Durham on March 23 with Sri Lanka spinner Muralitharan captaining them in the preceding Emirates T20 tournament.

The 12-man squad heading to the Middle East includes current and potential England squad members, although only Essex spinner Monty Panesar was part of the disastrous Ashes defeat in Australia.

Middlesex and England Lions batsman Sam Robson gets another chance to impress selectors along with Lions team-mate Ollie Rayner.

Nottinghamshire bowler Harry Gurney, picked for his first England squad for the tour of the West Indies, is also included along with county team-mates Samit Patel and Andre Adams.

The MCC team will arrive in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday March 18 to take part in the Emirates T20 tournament on Friday March 21 which also features Lancashire, Sussex, Durham and a Fly Emirates Select XI.

Pink ball

Muralitharan will be making a special appearance as MCC captain in the Emirates T20 tournament, which will be played under the MCC Spirit of Cricket banner and will feature the use of pink cricket balls.

The traditional four-day County Champion match then gets underway on Sunday March 23 and will be a day/night match also played with a pink ball.

Sehwag said: "I was delighted to be asked to play in this match, and being able to captain the MCC side makes it even more of a privilege.

"We're taking a very strong squad out to Abu Dhabi so I'm sure the standard of cricket on show will be very high.

"It's also very exciting to be playing under lights with the pink ball. It's a big innovation for the game and I'm very keen to be involved in any initiative which aims to increase the appeal of cricket to a wider audience."

MCC squad: Virender Sehwag (capt), Muttiah Muralitharan (T20 capt), Sam Robson, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Luis Reece, Samit Patel, Prasana Jayawardene, Ollie Rayner, Andre Adams, Harry Gurney, Kyle Hogg, Monty Panesar