It has recently been announced in a UAE newspaper that England's first warm-up match ahead of their Test series against Pakistan in the UAE will be a three-day match against a combined Associate XI.

According to a local official familiar with the tour itinerary, the match will begin on 7 January and will be drawn from the top six ODI status Associates/Affiliates, as well as potentially from the UAE.

The chance for the top players outside of Test cricket to test themselves against the top ranked team in Tests is a fantastic opportunity, and many players will no doubt be hoping to be selected. Availability could be limited though, as Canada and the Netherlands are both busy in the West Indies domestic Twenty20 competition that starts around the same time.

Ryan ten Doeschate and Tom Cooper are not in the Dutch squad for that tournament, though ten Doeschate was "unavailable" for that event, and Cooper will be busy in Australia's new Big Bash Twenty20 league, and going on his current progression and form could well be playing for Australia by then anyway.

A video on the Cricket Scotland website reveals that Majid Haq has been selected for the team, so we know one member. If any readers have their own selections, please share them on the CricketEurope forums.

In addition, Afghanistan will play Pakistan in a one-day match at Sharjah on 10 February, though recent reports seem to suggest that match will be a 50 over friendly rather than a full ODI. A PCB XI, set to feature players in the Pakistan squad, are likely to play the UAE around the same time.