Essex to face MCC in Barbados
PUBLISHED: 10:30 21 September 2017
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Essex will head to Barbados next spring to play against the MCC in the champion county match.
The Kensington Oval will host the four-day match, which will be a day-night fixture played with pink Dukes balls from March 27-30, with the North-South Series also taking place on the island.
And the fixtures have been welcomed by one of the greatest Barbados cricketers, Sir Garfield Sobers, who was also delighted that the announcement was made to coincide with the second Royal London One-Day International between England and West Indies at Trent Bridge, his home county ground with Nottinghamshire.
“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,” said Sobers.
“We have been home to numerous prestigious cricket events and this will once again be the case as we welcome the players to our lovely shores. We look forward to hosting them, and trust that it will be an intense and high-quality showing of the game.”
Former Essex opening batsman and captain John Stephenson, the MCC’s head of cricket, said: “MCC is delighted to be hosting the Champion County Match in Barbados next year, and continuing the club’s collaboration with the ECB.
“It has been a long-stated aim of the MCC World Cricket committee to help to reinvigorate Test cricket in areas of the world where attendances are dwindling, and MCC believe that playing a four-day, pink-ball first-class match in Barbados can help to do that.
“The club also hopes it will provide a platform for the iconic Kensington Oval to go on to potentially host a day/night Test Match in the near future.
“The pink-ball Champion County Match utilises players from ECB’s North-South Series and gives current and future England players valuable exposure to day/night cricket in the longer format. MCC is pleased to play its part in helping the ECB and looks forward to welcoming Essex for this fixture next year.”
Sporta Group, incorporating Sporta Tours, has again been appointed as tour partner for the North-South Series and MCC Champion County Match.
The company will manage the travel and logistical arrangements for the ECB, MCC and Essex, along with an exclusive supporters’ tour package for fans looking to follow the action to the Caribbean.