A new ‘North v South’ of England one-day series, featuring players picked by a computer programme, has been unveiled by the England and Wales Cricket board.
The three-match series will be played in Abu Dhabi next March.
Four players plus a spinner will earn automatic places on each team via the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s Most Valued Player ratings formula.
The remaining players will be chosen by the England selectors with an eye on the national team’s “strategic needs”.
“This is a good opportunity for England, domestic players and the game,” said England’s managing director Andrew Strauss.
“Finding the best players outside the current England set-up, playing them against each other in overseas conditions and placing them in an England environment will help us see if they’re ready for international cricket.”
The series, which will act as a warm-up for the County Championship’s 50-over competition, the Royal London Cup, will be staged in the UAE for the next three years.
The PCA’s MVP rankings were launched in 2007 and reward players for their contribution to the overall team result.
Batsmen receive points for run rate and percentage of team’s score as well as bare average, while bowlers earn higher points for dismissing top-order batsmen.
The teams will be chosen using the MVP rankings from this summer’s Royal London Cup, with the games aimed at uncapped or peripheral England players.
A first-class North v South fixture was part of the English calendar between 1836 and 1961.
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