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North v South success for White and Duckett

 The buzz currently surrounding Northamptonshire County Cricket Club is showing no sign of slowing down.

NCCC and England Lions batsman Ben Duckett and our very own slow left-armer Graeme White have been invited to play in the new North v South series in the United Arab Emirates next March.

Duckett, along with England internationals Tim Bresnan, Harry Gurney and Liam Dawson earned selection for the three-match North v South series as the top four England-qualified players in each region in this season’s Professional Cricketers’ Association Most Valuable Player Rankings.

Hampshire all-rounder Dawson, who made his T20 International debut against Sri Lanka at the Ageas Bowl earlier this season, topped the Royal London One Day Cup PCA MVP Rankings with 128 points, two ahead of White, who qualifies as top spinner in the group.

White, who signed a new two-year contract with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club earlier this week, also welcomed his inclusion in the North v South series.

“I’m really excited by it, it’s a great opportunity,” he said. “I haven’t ever really thought about international honours before, I’ve just kept my head down at Northampton looking for consistency.

“We’ve had a great season in the Royal London One Day Cup, finishing top in the North Group which means we get a home quarter-final, and we’ve got a really good record at home.

“I was told a few weeks ago that I was doing well in the rankings, which is a measure of consistency. It’s great to get some reward for that and the chance to show people what I can do.”

“It will no doubt be a fantastic learning opportunity for me, which will help me improve and keep getting better going forward”.

White’s haul of points included an exceptional 105 for bowling, with 44 of them coming against Lancashire at Wantage Road in June when he took a career-best six for 37.

Duckett scored a century against Yorkshire in June and returned from a successful Tri-Series with England Lions to finish the RLODC group stage with 86 against Worcestershire and 56 against Derbyshire. Both boys have made the club very proud.

Duckett spoke of his excitement this afternoon. “I’m very happy to have been selected. I am really enjoying playing white ball cricket this year for Northants and having the opportunity to bat at the top if the order. I’m also delighted Graeme has been selected and am looking forward to playing with him out there”.

Huge congratulations are in order for both players. In a week that saw Northamptonshire confirm their place in not one, but two home quarter finals in both the One Day Cup and T20 competitions, the boys’ inclusion in the UAE squad is a true reflection of the clubs phenomenal success this season. We are exceptionally proud and wish them the best of luck.

The PCA MVP Rankings system identifies the match-winners and key influencers of matches by using a formula that measures each player’s total contribution by taking into account conditions, quality of opposition, captaincy, strike rates as well as runs scored and wickets taken.

The remaining players in the North v South series will be chosen by the England selectors who will be thinking about the strategic needs of the England team in the build-up to the 2019 World Cup.

The Royal London One Day Cup PCA MVP Rankings can be viewed here:

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