Friday 13 April 2007 

Onions And Harmison Represent The MCC At Lord’s

Durham bowlers Graham Onions and Stephen Harmison will play in perhaps the perhaps the strongest MCC side in recent memory when it takes on the Champion County (Sussex) in the opening match of the First Class season at Lord's, which starts this morning. (13th-16th April)

The team, which has been chosen in association with the England selectors, will give Stephen Harmison and fellow England player Matthew Hoggard, valuable match practice ahead of the two npower Test series, which will begin in May against the West Indies.

Graham Onions inclusion follows his selection in the England A tour to Bangladesh earlier in the year.

Graham Onions said: “I’m really looking forward to representing the MCC in such a prestigious match. It’s a good opportunity for me to learn from the other guys in the team and to gain valuable experience and if I can take a few wickets that would be a great start to my season.”

Guy Jackson, National Academy Manager and managing the side, said: "This match provides an ideal opportunity for some of the young England 'A' players to continue the good work they began on the hugely beneficial tour to Bangladesh earlier this year. We were greatly impressed with the attitude of the squad, both on and off the pitch, and this match will enable them to demonstrate how they have developed since returning to their counties in preparation for the domestic season. It also gives some of the senior players who have not been involved in the World Cup the chance for some early season competitive match practice."

The MCC squad in full:

Alastair Cook (Essex) captain

Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)

Nick Compton (Middlesex)

Steven Davies (Worcestershire)

Alex Gidman (Gloucestershire)

Steve Harmison (Durham)

Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire)

Graham Onions (Durham)

Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)

Owais Shah (Middlesex)

Zoheb Sharif (MCC Universities - Cambridge)