Former West Indies batsman and captain Ramnaresh Sarwan has opted to play in Leicestershire’s three-day match at Loughborough MCCU, starting on Friday April 13, even though the contest will not have first-class status.
Sarwan wants to play to help him acclimatise to English conditions after he made his debut for Leicestershire in last weekend’s low-scoring County Championship win over Glamorgan at Grace Road.
“We are looking to play the same sort of batting line-up as we had against Glamorgan,” said Leicestershire head coach Phil Whitticase.
“That means Ramnaresh wants to play, which I am pleased about. From a batting point of view we want to go back to the way we played in our first innings against Glamorgan to come back from 1 for 3.”
Despite Sarwan’s presence the Loughborough match will not count towards the first-class records after a typically bizarre compromise decision by the ECB to increase the number of MCCUs with first-class status from four to six, with the addditions of Cardiff and Leeds/Bradford.
But only their first two matches against county opposition will count towards the first-class averages. Loughborough have already played their allocation against Nottinghamshire and Hampshire so the Leicestershire match will have less significance.
Loughborough are now coached by former Leicestershire batsman Russell Cobb who left his job as high performance coach at Grace Road earlier in the year to replace the late Graham Dilley at the university.
“I spoke to Russell on Tuesday. He’s loving it and looking forward to the game over the weekend,” Whitticase said.