Anglia Ruskin quartet set for Abu Dhabi tour

Published: 12 March 2012 at 11:27

All-rounder Rob is honoured to be captaining Combined Universities cricket team

Four Anglia Ruskin University students have been selected for a prestigious 10-day cricket tour to Abu Dhabi.

The MCCU touring party will be captained by all-rounder Rob Woolley, and will also include fast bowler Peter Turnbull, opening batsman Ben Ackland and wicketkeeper Dean Bell.

The quartet all play for Cambridge MCCU, and the Combined Universities squad – which is flying out to the Middle East on Saturday, 17 March – also selects players from Cardiff, Durham, Leeds, Loughborough and Oxford, the other national MCCU sides.

Woolley, who is studying an MSc in Accounting and Finance at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“Taking part in the Abu Dhabi trip is a great honour.  I went out there last year, also as captain, and I feel that it really helped my game and I became a better player for the experience.
“The 10-day tour will give us the early-season practice we need before starting our matches back in Cambridge on 31 March, and we’ll be coached out there by Clive Radley, an ex-England international with a huge amount of experience and knowledge.”

The tour consists of games against the MCC Young Cricketers, Sussex and Durham, and the side will get the opportunity to play at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, the venue of the recent matches between England and Pakistan.

The players return on 28 March in time to rejoin their Cambridge MCCU team-mates for the first match of the campaign – against Essex at Fenner’s – three days later. 

Woolley is hoping that 2012 can be even more successful than last season, which saw Cambridge MCCU win the British Universities Championship and record a stunning victory over a Surrey side which included England star Kevin Pietersen.

“The First Class victory against Surrey was the largest margin of victory for any MCCU over a county and I also managed to bowl Pietersen, which was probably the best moment of my career so far,”

said the 21-year-old. 
“To come up against one of the biggest names in cricket and knock his off stump and middle stump out was pretty special.
“Our first match at Fenner’s is against Essex, which should be interesting as I’ve been training with them every Thursday and Friday.  After the way we beat Surrey last year I know they will be treating it as a proper game and will send a pretty strong side.  I don’t know about Alastair Cook, but James Foster will be there and he has plenty of England experience.
“We then have Gloucestershire and Lancashire at home, which are two sides that we don’t usually come up against.  Coming from Lancashire I’m particularly looking forward to that one.”