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After signing a professional contract with Gloucestershire, Oxford MCC University captain, Ed Young, says the MCCU scheme was crucial to his development.
Young signed for Gloucestershire late in the 2010 season before starting his third year at Oxford Brookes University.
Young has been in brilliant form for Oxford so far in 2011 and made his first first-class ton for his MCCU against Lancashire.
Days later he scored 32 not out to steer Gloucestershire home for a three wicket win against Glamorgan as he stakes his claim to a permanent spot in the county's top order.
Young has also appeared this summer in a video examining the MCCU scheme, alongside England captain Andrew Strauss. Watch it the video
Young admits he would have struggled to reach the county system, had it not been for his time as an MCCU player.
"Being at Oxford MCCU has completely changed my cricket, it has produced opportunities and has allowed me to pursue my ultimate goal of becoming a professional cricketer." said Young, who was quickly promoted into the MCC Combined Universities side which plays in the Second XI County Championship.
"It has helped my cricket is all areas, physically, mentally, tactically and technically and I don't think I would have made it into the Gloucestershire squad without going to Oxford.
"I never really got into county Second XI cricket before coming to Uni.
"The MCCU scheme gave me that opportunity to play, through the Combined Universities XI, and with some success through that I managed to get a few trials around some counties."
Young’s Oxford side have drawn their opening two first-class fixtures of 2011 against Lancashire and reigning county champions Nottinghamshire.
They take on Sussex at The Parks in the final MCCU county fixture of the summer starting on 25 May.
Young, who made his first-class debut against Worcestershire in 2009, views the county fixtures as the standout part of the MCCU campaign.
"It is the pinnacle of the guys' season, it is the biggest challenge and if you succeed then it can have a knock-on effect." added Young.
"You never know who is watching the game or looking at the scorecards of these games, so if you are successful it can have a great effect.
"And the feedback we get off the county players is brilliant, they are always willing to help us out with any questions."
There is more to the MCCU scheme than cricket though, and Young is grateful to be graduating with a degree in Sociology/Anthropology from a top rated university."It has been very beneficial gaining a degree while playing my cricket.
"Just the thought of having a degree to fall back on does give you comfort, and to some extent doesn't put so much pressure on having a long career as a professional cricketer.
"I really do think it is important, because if the scheme was not around none of this would have happened to me, so I owe a lot to the MCC, so thank you!"