Bell to captain MCC against Yorkshire

Ian Bell will captain Marylebone Cricket Club in the 2016 Champion County match against Yorkshire in Abu Dhabi.

The 33-year-old will use the four-day annual curtain raiser as match practice ahead of the new County Championship season in which he will captain Warwickshire.

The five-times Ashes winner was recently left out of the England squad for their tour of South Africa but will look to pile on the runs for his county who play Hampshire in their season opener.

Bell, who will also be part of the MCC’s squad for the preceding Emirates T20 tournament in Dubai, was grateful for opportunity to go up against the defending county champions.

Bell, pictured, last played for England during their 2-0 series defeat against Pakistan in November

“This match is perfect for me to get some time in the middle ahead of the new season and I’m very grateful to MCC for offering me the chance to both play for and captain the team,” he said.

“It’s a nice opportunity for some practise in warm weather, and it will of course be a privilege to represent MCC again.

“Yorkshire’s team is full of top quality players so it will be great for myself and the rest of our guys to test ourselves against them, and hopefully I can contribute to an entertaining match.”

This will be the third time Bell has played for MCC, having represented the club in Champion County matches at Lord’s in 2004 and 2009 against Sussex and Durham respectively.

John Stephenson, MCC head of cricket, said: “Ian Bell is one of the best England cricketers of his generation and I’m delighted that he has agreed to captain MCC for this year’s Champion County match.

“It’s an ideal opportunity for him to gain match practice ahead of the new season, and I’m sure his experience will prove beneficial for our squad too.” 

Source: ECB

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