MCC Young Cricketer (YC) Ian Cockbain has signed a two year contract with Gloucestershire.
Cockbain, who joined the YCs in 2008 enjoyed an excellent season last year, scoring nine half centuries and an impressive 106 against Essex IIs.
The 23-year-old top order batsman accumulated 749 runs in the Second XI Championship at an average of 44.2. Another highlight was successive innings of 98 and 92 in a match against Glamorgan at Usk - demonstrating his consistency.
Cockbain's hard work and sharpness in the field also earned him the chance to field as 12th man for England during the 2009 Ashes Test.
On signing his first professional contract a delighted Cockbain said: "I'd like to thank Gloucestershire CCC for such a fantastic opportunity to play first class cricket for such a prestigious club.
"I am thoroughly looking forward to joining up with the squad on 1st March and getting stuck into the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead of me!"
The Liverpool-born batsman also had some words of thanks for his mentor at Lord's, MCC Head Coach Mark Alleyne:
"I would also like to thank Mark Alleyne for the last two years I have had with the MCC Young Cricketers.
"His knowledge of the game and coaching skills have helped to improve my game and set me in good stead for my future."
'YCs first class preparation'
Commenting on Cockbain’s achievement Alleyne, a former Gloucestershire captain, said: "Ian has gone to Gloucestershire with a real chance of playing First XI cricket next season, which is testament to his perseverance and continual hard work.
"His achievement also reaffirms that the YCs programme prepares the guys to play first class cricket straight away.
"I wish him all the best in his professional career and I am sure he will represent himself, Gloucestershire and MCC with great pride."
GCCC Director of Cricket, John Bracewell added: "We are delighted to have signed Ian as an opening batsman from the MCC Young Cricketers.
"This programme has already supplied us with Alex Gidman, William Porterfield, Will Gidman and Steve Snell in the last decade and Ian comes highly recommended by Mark Alleyne.
"This is a continuing association and we are confident that Ian’s cricket will kick on in the professional environment."