BEN Cox is looking to create a favourable impression when he remains in the UAE to represent the MCC in the traditional curtain-raiser to the new season against the champion county.

The wicketkeeper-batsman has spent the last two weeks in Abu Dhabi with his Worcestershire team-mates preparing for the 2019 season.

Last summer’s Vitality Blast winners played a mixture of white and red-ball cricket against Essex, Somerset and Warwickshire before flying home.

But Cox will now hop across to Dubai to join up with the MCC squad who face Surrey at the ICC Global Cricket Academy nursery ground in a four-day game starting on Sunday.

It will be the second appearance in three years in this fixture for the 27-year-old who faced Middlesex and scored 40 and 17 in addition to taking five catches in the 2017 fixture.

Cox, Worcestershire’s double man-of-the-match on Blast finals day at Edgbaston, is aiming to demonstrate his qualities as part of a side captained by England paceman Stuart Broad.

He said: “I found out five or six weeks ago that I’d been selected and it is great to represent the MCC and the badge and what it stands for.

“But you also look forward to who you are playing with. Stuart is my captain and I’m really looking forward to going out there and trying to impress the right people.

“The team was selected in conjunction with the ECB selectors and getting picked is a good sign that I’m doing something right along the way.

“It helps to keep your name and face in the shop window.

“I just need to be more consistent across all three formats, just letting the keeping look after itself and make sure it’s to a high standard and just being consistent with the bat.”

Meanwhile, Worcestershire seconds have suffered a setback to their preparations for the 2019 campaign after the wash-out of their opening game.

They had been due to visit Somerset from next Monday for a three-day encounter at Taunton Vale.

But that match has been called off due to the ground being flooded.

The County now hope to start their warm-up programme against Shropshire in a one-day match at Wrekin College on April 7.

That fixture is set to be followed on April 9 by the traditional early-season game against Worcestershire Academy at Kidderminster.

The seconds' competitive programme will get under way with an away Trophy encounter with Warwickshire on April 18.

The first home game in the 50-over competition will be against Leicestershire at Royal Grammar School Worcester five days later.

The Championship campaign starts at Lancashire at the end of April with the first home match at Barnt Green against local rivals Warwickshire.

The Bears also provide the seconds with their first action in the T20 tournament at Stourport on June 6.