Sehwag, Muralitharan to lead MCC

London, Feb 20: Discarded India batsman Virender Sehwag will captain the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in the four-day Champion County match against Durham starting March 23 in Abu Dhabi, while Sri Lankan spin great Muttiah Muralitharan will lead the team in the preceding Emirates T20 tournament.

The pair will lead a squad that also includes England’s Monty Panesar and Sri Lankan wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene.

The MCC side will also include some bright young county talent including Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond, Lancashire’s Luis Reece and Middlesex opener Sam Robson – who has been on England Lions duty in Sri Lanka this winter.

Nottinghamshire trio Samit Patel, Andre Adams and England hopeful Harry Gurney are also included in the squad.

Sehwag, who is also confirmed to play in the MCC v Rest of the World Lord’s Bicentenary Match July 5 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.”

The MCC team will arrive in Abu Dhabi March 18 to take part in the Emirates T20 tournament which also features Lancashire, Sussex, Durham and a select Fly Emirates side.

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

MCC will take on 2013 County Champions Durham at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in a day-night match. This is the second time Durham have been involved in the fixture, having played in the first Champion County match in Abu Dhabi in 2010, coming out on top by 311 runs.

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

MCC squad travelling to Abu Dhabi:

Virender Sehwag India – captain

Muttiah Muralitharan Sri Lanka – captain (T20 fixtures only)

Sam Robson Middlesex & England Lions

Luis Reece Lancashire

Daniel Bell-Drummond Kent

Samit Patel Nottinghamshire & England

Prassana Jayawardene Sri Lanka

Ollie Rayner Middlesex & England Lions

Andre Adams Nottinghamshire

Harry Gurney Nottinghamshire & England

Kyle Hogg Lancashire

Monty Panesar Essex & England

IANS