DURHAM have handed a tour place to Sunderland youngster Paul Coughlin when they head to Abu Dhabi to open the 2014 season with the traditional curtain raiser fixture against the MCC.
Coughlin has made just one first-class appearance, in a tour match against Australia A back in 2012, making an unbeaten 29 and taking 1-46.
The 21-year-old is part of a 16-man squad for the reigning LV County champions’ MCC clash, which begins on March 23.
Durham miss Ben Stokes and Paul Collingwood, who will be away with England at the World Twenty20, but they have included Graham Onions and Scott Borthwick, who have enjoyed winter action with the England Lions.
The Durham squad are due to fly to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, and they will return on March 27 ahead of the start of the first-class season in the colder climes of the North East.
The MCC squad will be led by Indian star Virender Sehwag and also includes England internationals Monty Panesar and Samit Patel.
Durham’s opening match of the LV County Championship season is away to Northamptonshire on April 13.
DURHAM SQUAD: Mark Stoneman, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick, Michael Richardson, Gordon Muchall, Phil Mustard, Stuart Poynter, Gareth Breese, Mark Wood, Ryan Pringle, Usman Arshad, Jamie Harrison, Chris Rushworth, Graham Onions, Ryan Buckley, Paul Coughlin.
H Brad Hodge struck successive sixes in the final over as Australia snatched a dramatic five-wicket victory over South Africa in the rain-affected second Twenty20 international in Durban last night.
In a match reduced to seven overs a side due to the weather, Australia looked set to fall short in their pursuit of a testing victory target of 81 despite David Warner clubbing 40 off just 16 balls at the top of the order.
However, with 13 needed off the last four balls of the match, Hodge swung Wayne Parnell for two huge sixes and then off the next delivery Australia clinched the win with a wide.
The victory puts Australia 1-0 up in the three-match series, with the first game abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy rain in Port Elizabeth.