PCA PRESS RELEASE
As the 2018 season fast approaches, Steven Mullaney and Sam Northeast prepare their sides for the North-South series, with 26 England hopefuls battling it out in Barbados.
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The North-South series starts on Sunday with the first of three matches taking place at the Kensington Oval with the North side looking to fight back after the series defeat last spring.
The initiative was created ahead of the 2017 campaign by the ECB to focus on talented English white-ball players who have yet to make the step up to the national side as the ICC Cricket World Cup approaches in 2019.
The squads were selected using a mixture of the PCA MVP Rankings and hand-picked selections by the ECB based on their performances during the Royal London One-Day Cup.
New Nottinghamshire captain Steven Mullaney has been chosen to lead the North side in the Caribbean with new Hampshire signing Sam Northeast captaining the South in the 50-over series.
Speaking at the recent PCA Leadership course, Mullaney expressed his delight at being asked to lead out his side ahead of the unique series.
“I’ve just become captain of Notts and now been lucky enough to be asked to captain the North side in the North-South series in Barbados,” said Mullaney.
“I’m really looking forward to leading a talented group of players, I have some really close relationships with some of the players and I’m hoping to use all the knowledge gained at the PCA Leadership course over the series.”
Mullaney, who is yet to feature for England is hoping this series could provide a springboard for international recognition.
“I think it’s a great initiative by the ECB to and I’d love to play for England,” said the 31-year-old.
“Whether it happens or not I suppose my performance dictates that, but in the North-South games last year, Toby Roland-Jones and Dawid Malan played and they’ve gone on to feature in One-Day International cricket and Test cricket.
“I haven’t played Lions cricket or anything like that before so it’s a great opportunity for me personally and all the other lads.”
"I’d love to play for England, whether it happens or not I suppose my performance dictates that, but in the North-South games last year, Toby Roland-Jones and Dawid Malan played and they’ve gone on to feature in One-Day International cricket and Test cricket."
Following a comfortable series whitewash for the South side last time out, the Nottinghamshire captain is remaining optimistic ahead of his sides chances.
“I can’t wait to get out there and hopefully we can get one back over the South because they beat us three-nil last year. It’s going to be good fun,” said Mullaney.
The North-South series will begin on Sunday with the first two games of the series staged at the Kensington Oval, on March 18 and 21, with the Three Ws Oval hosting the final fixture on March 23.
Each team had successful warm-up games on Thursday with the North beating Northamptonshire at the Three Ws Oval with 11 overs to spare, largely thanks to an Alex Davies century. The South also completed a convincing victory against a Barbados Cricket Association XI at Kensington Oval with Northeast and former Kent teammate Daniel Bell-Drummond top scoring with half-centuries.
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).