WORCESTERSHIRE wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Cox has spoken of his pride at being selected to play for the MCC in the new season's traditional showpiece curtain raiser.

The Wordsley-born cricketer has been named in the squad to play against 2018 champion county Surrey at the ICC Global Cricket Academy in Dubai from March 24 to 27.

It's the second time in three years that Cox has been chosen.

The 27-year-old made his initial appearance in the fixture in 2017 against Middlesex in Abu Dhabi, scoring 40 and 17 and taking five catches.

Cox, who also attended Bromsgrove School as a youngster, will once again link up the MCC squad after he finishes a two-week pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi with Worcestershire.

He said: "It's always a great honour to be selected for the MCC.

"As a professional you always look at the team and who is in it. I've been selected twice in the last three years so it also shows that I must be doing something right.

"Overall, it's a great privilege to wear the MCC badge that is worn with pride by members and players alike. It'll also be really good meeting up with the group.

"It'll be the perfect preparation for the coming season."

Cox, who has already spent nearly two months in New Zealand this winter playing for Otago Volts in the Super Smash, will soon be setting his sights on helping his county back to Division One after last season's relegation. He's also keen for the Rapids to defend the T20 Blast crown.

"When you're in Division Two it is always the aim to win it and you have the perk of going up to Division One, which is something we have done many times before," he added.

"It's incredible to see the young players we have coming through and they will all benefit from a full season in Division Two as well.

"We also want to defend out T20 Blast title. That was brilliant last year and I think it was a case of those young players really coming of age and learning from past seasons when we'd got to quarter-finals and semi-finals."

He's been pleased with how preparations have been going in Abu Dhabi.

"It's certainly not a holiday," he said. "We're all working really hard and getting some good outdoor time, which is golden as we look to prepare for the new season. It's an exciting time for the club and everyone is putting the work in.

"We'll be out here for a few weeks then I'll stay and join up with the MCC side after that."