Somerset's Steve Kirby relishing his two MCC opportunities
STEVE Kirby has been named in the MCC squad for their forthcoming tour to Argentina and their match against the champion county, Warwickshire, in Abu Dhabi.
The Somerset seamer, who has been working hard on his fitness all winter, will fly out to Buenos Aires on February 20 for a tour that will include six one-day matches.
He will then be part of the squad that heads to Abu Dhabi on March 21 for the match against Warwickshire, which begins three days later.
The 35-year-old,pictured, said: "I have done quite a few tours with the MCC in the past, so when I was approached to go on the tour to Argentina, I was delighted to accept and I am really looking forward to it."
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"I think the way that the MCC go about promoting cricket around the world in all countries is fantastic, and, for me, it's great preparation, because I'm able to get outside on the grass, hopefully in the sunshine and play some cricket, which will hold me is good stead going into pre-season."
"I then go out with the MCC to play against the champion county before the first-class season kicks off back here.
"We have several pre-season games at the County Ground, and I am gearing up for what will hopefully be a good season."
The MCC will spend 11 days in Argentina – and Kirby said: "We go out to Buenos Aires on February 20 and during the time we are out in Argentina we play six one-day games, before returning on March 3.
"I have worked really hard this winter on my fitness and I'm looking forward to getting outside and bowling off my full run-up.
"Darren Maddy, who I was at Leicestershire with, and a couple of other professionals on the circuit are going so I am really looking forward to it.
"There should be some good cricket in a great climate and a chance to meet some interesting people."
After a brief stint back home in Taunton, Kirby will then head to the United Arab Emirates a couple of weeks before the start of Somerset's LV= County Championship campaign.
"The MCC squad for the four-day match against Warwickshire is going out to Abu Dhabi on March 21 ahead of the game on March 24, so there will be a couple of training days before we go into the match," he said.
"There is also a Twenty20 tournament out there, so it should be an interesting few days."
Ireland have announced a two-match ODI series against Pakistan in May, with venues still to be finalised.
Pakistan will use the games on 23 and 26 May as preparation for the Champions Trophy in England.