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Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Saturday, 26 March 2011

Nottinghamshire primed for curtain-raiser against MCC

Champion County match
Venue: Zayed International Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi Date: Sunday 27 March Time: 1100 BST
Coverage: Live ball-by-ball commentary on BBC Radio Nottingham, live scores and updates on BBC Sport website

Rahul Dravid
Dravid has scored 12,063 Test runs for India

The English season starts on Sunday when county champions Nottinghamshire play the MCC in the traditional four-day curtain raiser.

For a second successive season the day-night game will be staged in Abu Dhabi where Durham won by 311-runs in 2010.

India batsman Rahul Dravid and Steven Davies of England are the leading players in the MCC side.

Notts begin the defence of their Division One title against Hampshire at Trent Bridge on 14 April.

The Nottinghamshire coach Wayne Noon is looking forward to the challenge posed by the high-quality MCC XI.

"It's an honour to be involved. Bowling at Rahul Dravid in a four-day game is the sort of challenge that I'd expect our bowlers to thrive on," said Noon.

"There are places up for grabs, although we have a firm idea of the core of our side.

Their [MCC] selection underlines how seriously they are taking the game

Notts coach Wayne Noon

"One or two players will probably find themselves in the team at the start of the season based on the form they show in the meantime.

"There was a lot of interest from our players about exactly who would be included in the MCC squad and their selection underlines how seriously they are taking the game.

"We're going to pick a side that we feel can win the game but it's clear that we're going to get four days of intense cricket and that's exactly what we need at this stage of our pre-season preparation."

Once the four-day game is completed, Rahul Dravid will drop out of the MCC's squad.

He will be replaced by his India team-mate Sourav Ganguly for a Twenty20 tournament at the beginning of April which also includes Nottinghamshire, Durham, Sussex and a select Fly Emirates XI.

The first County Championship Division One fixtures of the season will be played on 8 April when Hampshire, Lancashire and Worcestershire respectively play Durham, Sussex and Yorkshire.

MCC XI: Chris Rogers (Middlesex & Australia, capt), Stephen Peters (Northants), Stephen Moore (Lancashire & England Lions), Rahul Dravid (India), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Steven Davies (Surrey & England, wkt), Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan), Gary Keedy (Lancashire), Steve Kirby (Somerset & England Lions), Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex), Hamid Hassan (Afghanistan).

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see also
Abu Dhabi to host MCC match again
02 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Dravid puts India firmly on top
22 Nov 10 |  Cricket
Notts sneak title from Somerset
16 Sep 10 |  Counties
Notts beat MCC despite Loudon ton
17 Apr 06 |  Counties
Durham dominate MCC in Abu Dhabi
29 Mar 10 |  Counties
Abu Dhabi set to host MCC match
11 Dec 09 |  Cricket

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