Patel and team-mate Ball picked for MCC

Samit Patel during the NatWest T20 Blast match between the Outlaws and the Bears at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on 15 May 2015.  Photo: Simon Trafford
Samit Patel during the NatWest T20 Blast match between the Outlaws and the Bears at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on 15 May 2015. Photo: Simon Trafford

Samit Patel has been added to the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) squad for the annual Champion County match in Abu Dhabi.

The Nottinghamshire and England all-rounder joins Outlaws teammate Jake Ball in the party after Durham leg-spinner Scott Borthwick, who was originally selected, opted to extend his stay with Wellington CC in New Zealand.

The four-day match, which is the annual curtain raiser for the English county season, will be between MCC and Yorkshire and begins on Sunday 20 March.

Patel is one of five cricketers with England experience included in the squad, along with Ian Bell, James Tredwell, Rikki Clarke and Graham Onions. The match has, in recent years, been used to trial pink ball floodlit cricket. However, on this occasion, following a request from Yorkshire, the match will be played in day conditions with a red ball.

The Champion County match will be preceded by the Emirates Airline Twenty20 tournament on Friday 18 March, for which Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara will be part of the MCC squad.

Yorkshire, Lancashire and the UAE national side, who have recently qualified for the Asia Cup with Paul Franks part of the coaching staff, will also take part in the tournament.

“Samit is the perfect replacement for Scott and has played for MCC in this fixture before so will be a great asset to us,” said MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson.

“He is an experienced county and international cricketer and adds a nice balance to the side so I’m very pleased that he’s available to play for us.”

Patel, whose first class career for Notts has brought 9333 runs at 37.18 with 22 centuries, as well as 241 wickets, is set to bat at number six for the home of cricket’s XI, as well as fulfilling second spinner duties alongside James Tredwell.

Patel toured South Africa with the England Lions last winter before encountering a 2015 season that, despite bringing a modest return of 681 runs at 24.32, saw the 31-year-old make strides with the ball and turn in typically consistent performances with the bat in white ball cricket.

The career-long Outlaw, who represented the MCC in the champion county fixture two years ago, took 30 wickets at 31 in the red ball game in 2015, including a match-winning spell of 4-23 against Warwickshire.

Patel added 21 wickets and impressive economy rates in white ball cricket, as well as averaging 39 and 47 in the respective T20 and List A competitions in the Notts middle-order.

He was a late addition to the England Test squad that faced Pakistan in the UAE following injury to Surrey’s Zafar Ansari, going-on to feature in the third Test where he posted a first innings score of 42 and collected three wickets in the match. Selection for the tour of South Africa followed, where Patel understudied Moeen Ali during England’s 2-1 series victory.

The full MCC squad for the tour of Abu Dhabi and Dubai is as follows (in batting order):

Nick Browne (Essex)

Rory Burns (Surrey)

Ian Bell (Warwickshire, Captain)

Tom Westley (Essex)

Ben Foakes (Surrey)

Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire)

Rikki Clarke (Warwickshire)

James Harris* (Middlesex)

James Tredwell (Kent)

Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire)

Graham Onions (Durham)

Kumar Sangakkara** (Surrey)

*Champion County match only **Emirates Airline Twenty20 tournament only