Middlesex to train under marquee, says Angus Fraser
Middlesex managing director of cricket Angus Fraser hopes to benefit from training in a marquee in pre-season.
The first XI will use Radlett CC as their home when they start pre-season training in March.
Fraser told BBC London 94.9: "We're having a huge translucent marquee put up to try and make sure we can get outdoor practice on grass.
"The closer we can get it to English conditions that we will encounter early in the season, the better."
The marquee, which is 40 metres long and 20 metres wide, is due to be put up at Radlett at the end of January.
"In a six-week period hopefully the groundsmen will be able to get it dry and get the surfaces good enough for us to get some meaningful outdoor practice in the middle of March," Fraser continued.
"The season starts a week later this year than last year but even so, if you want to get your players in the right sort of form by the start of April, you want them to be getting decent outdoor practice quite early in March."
New training facilities were opened at Radlett, in Hertfordshire, in July last year after a two-and-a-half year project to redevelop the club house and the facilities at the ground.
Middlesex will combine training there with spending time at their indoor academy at Finchley, while Middlesex's second XI will use Radlett as their venue for home matches.
And Fraser believes that remaining in England and using outdoor facilities will help the side when the season gets underway in April.
"The players would quite enjoy a trip to South Africa or Barbados or something like that," Fraser said.
"Much to their annoyance, I think it is more lifelike for them to be practising in English conditions where it is a bit cold and miserable.
"You've got to warm up and the ball will stay on the surface rather than playing on slow sub-continental pitches where the ball just slides onto the bat.
"That is nothing like what we are going to get when we go up to Trent Bridge on the 10th April."