It’s the match which marks the start of a county season, a tradition that dates back to 1901, and this year Nottinghamshire supporters have more reason than usual to follow, with interest, the MCC Champion County Match.
Facing off against the Division One Champions from last summer, Surrey, the MCC will be led by Stuart Broad, the first time he has represented the prestigious outfit.
And the 32-year-old, who will be available for Nottinghamshire for the season’s opener against Yorkshire, has a familial connection to the home of cricket.
“To be asked to represent and captain the MCC is a huge honour,” said Broad.
“My grandad, who’s 101 now, was a member for many years before giving it up a couple of years ago because he couldn’t get to Lord’s anymore.
“It’s a nice tradition to start the season. It’s fun when you get to play cricket with different players from around the county scene and get to know people that you bump into throughout the course of a season.”
Surrey were the outstanding team of 2018 with England internationals Sam & Tom Curran, Jason Roy and Ben Foakes leading their side to ten wins in their 14 games to finish on 254 points, 46 ahead of their nearest rivals, Essex.
The Three Feathers have an almost identical squad to last summer, strengthening with the additions of Liam Plunkett and Jordan Clark, but will be without the younger Curran brother, Sam, as he cashes in on his growing status in the world game with a stint in the Indian Premier League.
All told, it will be a stern test for the eleven names assembled to wear the MCC badge on their chest, but that’s perfect preparation in Broad’s eyes ahead of the county season.
“A lot of us playing in that game will want to lift the County Championship come September,” said Broad.
“Surrey hold it at the moment and they certainly deserve that after being spectacular as a team last season.
“For us as a group it’s a good opportunity to dent Surrey’s start to the season.
“For me personally it’s important to have match overs under my belt.
“I played the two Tests in the Caribbean but my workloads haven’t been huge across this winter.
“So, it will be good to get some bowling in Dubai, get rid of a few cobwebs and up the match intensity ready to hit the season.”
MCC Side To Face Surrey
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire) – captain
Tom Abell (Somerset)
Dominic Sibley (Warwickshire)
Tom Westley (Essex)
Dan Lawrence (Essex)
Will Rhodes (Warwickshire)
Peter Trego (Somerset)
Ben Cox (Worcestershire) – wicket-keeper
Dominic Bess (Somerset)
Stephen Parry (Lancashire)
Sam Cook (Essex)
Nottinghamshire begin their Specsavers County Championship campaign at Trent Bridge on Friday 5 April against Yorkshire. You can watch every ball of their campaign, as well as all seven T20 Vitality Blast games and all four Royal London One-Day Cup matches from £29 as a Member. Find out more here....