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Dravid joins Tait in MCC T20 squad
Dale Benkenstein will captain MCC in the Champion County fixture against Warwickshire in Abu Dhabi, while Rahul Dravid and Shaun Tait will add some star quality for the Emirates Airline Twenty20 event that precedes the four-day game.
As has become the norm, the Champion County match will be played under floodlights at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. Benkenstein will be joined by Steve Kirby, the Somerset fast bowler, and Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan - both previously played in 2010 and 2011.
Simon Kerrigan, the Lancashire and England Lions left-arm spinner, who took eight wickets in the contest last year, is the frontline slow bowler, while Alan Richardson and Peter Trego, two stalwarts of the county game, are also included.
The other batsmen currently in the squad are Jimmy Adams, Joe Denly and Sam Northeast. Two more names will be added in the near future. The four-day game takes place from March 24 to 27.
Before the Champion County game, MCC, Warwickshire and Sussex will compete for the Emirates Airline Twenty20 Trophy. Dravid, who scored a hundred in the 2011 Champion County match against Nottinghamshire, and Tait, who both play for Rajasthan Royals, will be part of the squad for the two-day event before heading to India for the IPL.
John Stephenson, MCC's head of cricket, said, "Since the decision was first made four years ago to play the Champion County fixture in Abu Dhabi as a day-night match, national cricket boards from around the world have subsequently trialled the format. All of this research has recently culminated in the ICC officially sanctioning the possibility of playing day-night Test cricket, which MCC has been calling for since 2009 in a bid to re-energise Tests in countries where crowds are falling.
"The fact that evidence from previous Champion County fixtures has contributed to this decision greatly highlights MCC's global research and development role, and the 2013 match against Warwickshire will build on this platform."
MCC squad (two more to be added) Dale Benkenstein (capt), Jimmy Adams, Joe Denly, Rahul Dravid (T20 only), Simon Kerrigan, Steve Kirby, Dawid Malan, Sam Northeast, Alan Richardson, Shaun Tait (T20 only), Peter Trego