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Countdown To 2018 Season Continues As North-South Series Begins

Hampshire batsman Sam Northeast will lead the South in the upcoming three-match series in Barbados

The countdown to the 2018 cricket season moves to Barbados this week as 26 of England’s most talented white-ball players, including Hampshire batsman Sam Northeast, prepare to renew the North-South rivalry.

The second North-South Series will be staged in the Caribbean, with Northeast captaining the South side who will be aiming to secure consecutive series wins after last year's 3-0 whitewhash in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 

The three-match series will be followed by the MCC’s first-class four-day fixture against Essex, the winners of the 2017 Specsavers County Championship, at the Kensington Oval as the culmination of a spring festival of English cricket in Barbados.

We introduced the North-South Series last year as part of a concerted attempt to emphasise the importance of 50-over cricket in the countdown to staging the 2019 ICC World Cup.

This year’s series was always going to be a little different given the schedule of the England team which means Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace are both in New Zealand. But the appointment of two members of the England coaching staff in Mark Ramprakash and Paul Collingwood to take charge of the teams underlines that the stakes will again be high for the players selected.

Andrew Strauss, ECB Director of England Cricket

The first two games of the series will be staged at the Kensington Oval, on March 18 and 21, with the third match switched to the Three Ws Oval on March 23.

Each team will have a warm-up game on March 15 – the South will play a Barbados Cricket Association XI at Kensington Oval, and the North will face familiar opposition at the Three Ws Oval from Northamptonshire, who are also in Barbados preparing for the season.

Squads

North. Coach – Paul Collingwood (Durham). Assistant Coach – Paul Franks (Notts Outlaws – qualified through Royal London One-Day Cup). S Mullaney (Notts, captain), K Jennings (Lancashire), S Hain (Warwickshire), A Hose (Warwickshire), J Clarke (Worcestershire), A Davies (Lancashire, wk), M Critchley (Derbyshire), B D’Oliveira (Worcestershire), M Fisher (Yorkshire), S Mahmood (Lancashire), R Gleeson (Northamptonshire), M Parkinson (Lancashire), Z Chappell (Leicestershire).

South. Coach – Mark Ramprakash (ECB). Assistant Coach – A Flower (ECB). S Northeast (Hampshire, captain), D Bell-Drummond (Kent), N Gubbins (Middlesex), L Evans (Sussex), O Pope (Surrey), J Simpson (Middlesex, wk), S Curran (Surrey), D Rawlins (Sussex), D Bess (Somerset), R Patel (Middlesex), P Walter (Essex), J Porter (Essex), T Barber (Middlesex).

Dates, Venues – all matches start 9:30am local time (1:30pm GMT)

Thursday March 15, Warm-Up Games. South v Barbados Cricket Association XI (Kensington Oval). North v Northamptonshire (Three Ws Oval).

Match 1 (Kensington Oval): Sunday March 18

Match 2 (Kensington Oval): Wednesday March 21

Match 3 (Three Ws Oval): Friday March 23

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