MCC Head Coach Mark Alleyne has announced an eighteen-man MCC Young Cricketers (YCs) squad for the 2013 season, which includes ten returning players alongside eight new signings.
Nineteen-year-old Lancashire leg spinner Mo Abid is amongst the new faces at Lord’s this summer, having caught the eye of Alleyne whilst playing for the England Development Programme over the last few years. Abid will be joined in a new-look YCs bowling attack in 2013 by fellow former age-group international, Ireland under-19 right arm seamer, Shane Getkate.
Getkate is the latest promising young Irish cricketer to be selected for the YCs – joining Ireland "A" wicket-keeper / batsman, Stuart Poynter, who returns behind the stumps for the YCs for a third and final year this summer.
The YCs will be further strengthened in 2013 by two players who already boast experience of playing second eleven county cricket. Eighteen-year-old right arm fast medium bowler, Harry Podmore, joins the YCs after a strong season with Middlesex II in 2012 and upon the recommendation of Middlesex Managing Director of Cricket, Angus Fraser.
Graham Clarke meanwhile, will be hoping to cement a place at the top of the YCs batting line-up this summer, having played for Durham II last season.
Young right arm medium pace bowler Zain Shahzad from Wanstead & Snaresbrook Cricket Club will also be looking forward to his first season as a YC in 2013, after being selected to join the squad having impressed Alleyne, during the Wisden City Cup competition last season.
Returning to the YCs programme for a third season will be right arm seamer Jamie Porter. Porter has been a key performer for the YCs over the past two summers, finishing both as the team’s leading wicket-taker in the ECB Second Eleven Championship.
With bat in hand Billy Root (younger brother of England Test cricketer Joe Root), and Liam Gough (son of ex-England fast bowler Darren Gough) will both be aiming to make some significant contributions at the top of the batting order in their second summer playing for the YCs, while bowling all-rounder Jamie Hoddle (son of former England footballer and manager Glen Hoddle) will be hoping to contribute with bat and ball.
Speaking about his 2013 MCC Young Cricketers squad, MCC Head Coach, and former Gloucestershire and England all-rounder, Mark Alleyne, said:
"I am really excited about the 2013 MCC YCs squad – they are a very talented and skilful group of players. The composition of the squad is slightly bowler heavy, but this presents an excellent opportunity for some of the senior all-rounders in the side to step up and take responsibility with the bat.
"The last couple of seasons have been frustrating results-wise, and whilst success for the YCs scheme isn’t always about winning individual matches, it is important to ensure that we are attracting the attention of county coaches with strong performances on the field. I want every player in the YCs squad to be out there and challenging for a county contract this summer."
All of the 2013 squad will be aiming to use the MCC YCs programme to launch their professional cricket careers, and follow in the footsteps of recent YC graduates, such as international cricket captains Darren Sammy (West Indies) and Will Porterfield (Ireland), and Nottinghamshire and England Twenty20 batsman Alex Hales.
The MCC YCs will compete in the North Division of the ECB’s Second XI competitions in 2013 and will attend a world-class pre-season training camp alongside a combined MCC Universities team in Abu Dhabi next month.
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