PARLEY all-rounder Raj Naik will come face to face with England World Cup hero Craig Kieswetter when he makes his Dorset debut – at the age of 34.

Naik has been rewarded for his exploits in the Dorset League with a call-up for the Leopards’ Twenty20 friendly against the Somerset Sabres tomorrow (2.30pm).

A prolific run-scorer and wicket-taker, the Indian ace will also pit his wits against 2005 Ashes star Marcus Trescothick and in-form countryman Murali Kartik.

Somerset have named a strong squad for the clash at Sherborne School as they prepare for their opening match in this season’s domestic Twenty20 Cup, which starts next week.

For Naik, who used to play professionally in India for Goa, the contest will offer an opportunity to showcase his talents after he was given clearance to join Dorset earlier this week.

Naik, who works as a cricket coach, told the Daily Echo: “It will be a good challenge and good to compete against some of the best players in the world.

“I am looking forward to playing against Murali Kartik. I know him through VVS Laxman, who is a mutual friend. I played junior cricket with VVS in India and played against Murali for Goa.

“Twenty20 is a fast-moving game and it should be great entertainment for the crowd. I am pleased I have got my chance to play for Dorset.

“They have been monitoring my performances over the past few years and I am delighted to have been selected.

“As a club, we are doing well at Parley. I am happy for the club and happy to be making a contribution.”

Three Lions opener Kieswetter plundered a match-winning 63 off 49 balls as England were crowned ICC World Twenty20 champions after beating Australia in the Caribbean a fortnight ago.

And Dorset manager Sean Walbridge, whose troops also entertain the Hampshire Royals at Dean Park on Tuesday (5pm), said Naik had earned his place in their squad.

Walbridge said: “If you look at his record over the past three or four years in the Dorset League, arguably, there is no-one better.

“We have been aware of Raj for a while because he has been one of most consistent run-scorers and wicket-takers in the league.”

Walbridge added: “It will be a fantastic experience for our guys and nobody will be expecting us to do that well so there’s no pressure on us at all.

“We want to show we are a useful side and to put Dorset County Cricket Club on the map by raising our profile as much as possible. We are keen to impress.

“We know that both games will be tremendously difficult but we are not going to roll over. If we take a few early wickets or get off to a good start with the bat, you never know what might happen.”

• Spectators are reminded to take their own seating as there is only a limited amount provided at the venue.

Dorset: Jones, Lawrence, Williams, Lett, Treagus, Cowley, Taylor, C Park, Naik, Hicks, Banham, Linge.

Somerset: Trescothick, Kieswetter, Compton, de Bruyn, Hildreth, Suppiah, Buttler, Trego, Thomas, Phillips, Kartik, Waller, Turner.