Fringe stars urged to impress

16 March 2017 08:39:57 EST
Andrew Strauss during his playing days.

England supremo Andrew Strauss has challenged the country's shadow players to grasp the opportunity to impress in this week's North v South series.

Strauss, England's managing director of cricket, was the driving force behind the re-enactment of the regional games, and promotes their role in staking a place for the 2019 World Cup.

"Staging the 2019 ICC World Cup offers a huge opportunity to all of us involved in cricket in England and Wales," said Strauss. "The North-South Series has been set up specifically with that World Cup in mind.

"Being blunt, our history at previous World Cups is awful. So it's pretty safe to assume that if we do the same things we've done ahead of previous tournaments, we should expect similar results.

"The North-South Series is an example of our determination to leave no stone unturned over the next three years in our preparations for the 2019 competition - and to change the perception of 50-over cricket domestically.

"It gives a wider group of players the chance to impress - in front of all three England selectors, the England coach Trevor Bayliss, and two of his assistants, Paul Farbrace and Ottis Gibson, who are coaching the teams."

The first of three matches begins in Dubai on Friday with full internationals Keaton Jennings and James Vince captaining the North and South respectively.

Eight of the players earned their spots through their performances in 2016's Royal London One-Day Cup, reflected by the PCA's MVP Rankings.

The remaining 18 making up the squads were selected by the national selectors, headed by James Whitaker.

England are 7/2 to win the 2019 World Cup while Australia can be backed at 10/3 and Pakistan at 10/1.

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