Match Preview: Lancashire v UAE
Lancashire CCC v UAE Preview
LANCASHIRE’S first match of 2017 sees them face hosts United Arab Emirates in a two-day friendly at the ICC Global Academy, starting tomorrow.
The Red Rose county are regular visitors to the Gulf state at this time of year, and this is their first of two two-day friendlies on tour, with Yorkshire the opponents at the same venue next weekend.
Steven Croft’s side will also take part in the two-day Emirates Airline T20 competition on Thursday and Friday.
Birmingham Bears, Durham Jets, Pakistan Super League champions Peshawar Zalmi, Lahore Qalandars and an MCC World XI are also involved.
Lancashire have a squad of 19 on tour, including new overseas signing Ryan McLaren, who will join up with Glen Chapple's squad next week.
England fast bowler Jimmy Anderson is also a member of the touring party, with the Test ace set to be available through the early part of the summer given the first home Test of the year is not until July against South Africa.
Missing the trip through injury or unavailability, however, are Haseeb Hameed, Matt Parkinson, Shiv Chanderpaul, Dane Vilas and Jos Buttler.
All but Parkinson (lumbar stress fracture) and Buttler (IPL) are due to be available to face Essex in the County Championship opener at Chelmsford on April 7.
Liam Livingstone and Saqib Mahmood will link up with the squad after the third North v South one-day match in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Alex Davies is fit again after missing the majority of last season with a knee injury.
The UAE are warming up for ICC World Cricket League and Intercontinental Cup matches against Papua New Guinea early next month.
They most recently lost a duo of one-day internationals against Ireland at the ICC Global Academy at the start of the month.
The Emiratis are captained by all-rounder Rohan Mustafa and coached by Dougie Brown, whose last game in charge of Warwickshire was against Lancashire at Edgbaston in the Championship last September.
Only recently, 22-year-old batsman Chirag Suri became the first UAE player to be picked up by an Indian Premier League franchise, the Gujarat Lions. That competition starts next month.
The two sides met this time last year in a two-day affair, with Lancashire having the best of it thanks mainly to Karl Brown and Jordan Clark.
Brown retired out with 92 on day one as Croft and Liam Livingstone posted 51 and 50 respectively in a score of 319-7 from 90 overs.
On day two, the UAE were bowled out for 179 inside 49 overs. Clark starred with figures of 5-35 from eleven overs.
WHAT THEY SAID
Rob Jones is relishing the opportunity to stake his claim for a place in Lancashire’s side for the Essex clash.
Jones, who impressed so much at the back end of last year primarily as an opening batsman, has had a productive winter of Australian grade cricket with the South Perth club.
He played with against new Australia internationals Hilton Cartwright and Jhye Richardson whilst Down Under.
And while he is likely to face Essex given last year’s form, he is taking nothing for granted and knows he must work hard in the Desert sun.
“I’d love to start the season,” said Jones. “I don’t know whether I will, that’s up to the coaches.
“If I do, great. If not, I’ll go in the twos and try to force my way in that way.
“Performances in Dubai give you a shout, although it won’t guarantee you a spot.
“There’s a lot of competition in the squad. The lads have been training well and working hard.
“That’s always a good thing in any sport or business because competition brings the best out of people. It’s exciting, and I can’t wait.”
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