KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Five MCC Young Cricketers are celebrating securing county contracts after successful 2013 summers at Lord's.
And MCC Head Coach Mark Alleyne, the man responsible for overseeing the YC squad, spoke of his pleasure at seeing so many of his squad achieve thier aim of joining a first-class county.
"This is exactly what the scheme is there to do," said the former England all-rounder.
Biog: A superb breakthrough year for for Poynter, who benefitted from a winter spent working on his game at Lord's with improved on-field performances.
In addition to earning a county contract, Poynter made a half-century on his Ireland debut against Australia, and made his first LV= County Championship debut at the end of the season as a loanee when Warwickshire suffered a 'keeper crisis.
Alleyne says: "I don’t really subscribe to the theory that if you spend the winter in Australia then it toughens you up. If you want a hard winter then you’re better off back in the UK working on your game and Stuart did just that.
"He’s reaped the rewards from that. He focused on his batting because if you’re going to be considered as a first-class cricketer you have to contribute regularly with the bat and it’s paid off for him."
Role: Seam-bowling all-rounder
Biog: At 6' 10" Rollings naturally attracts attention, though Surrey were late in picking up Rollings, who is originally from Sussex.
The nature of his stint with Surrey means his contract is originally for the winter only, but Rollings will be hopeful of impressing new coach Graham Ford enough for the deal to be extended for the 2014 summer.
Alleyne says: "Surrey like what they see and want him to be a full part of their winter programme with a view to making things permanent for next summer.
"His physical attributes catch the eye and you can see what Surrey see in him as a first-class cricketer."
Role: Top-order batsman
Biog: Cumbria-born Clark was consistent with the bat all year, and showed the kind of improvement Durham sought after he left their Academy for Lord's at the start of the 2013 season.
Alleyne says: "We have a good relationship with Durham and coming to London and learning and developing off the field and having more on-field responsibilities was a key part in the decision for him to join the YCs.
Biog: A fast-developing seam bowling talent, Podmore has improved enough during his one summer with the YCs for his home county Middlesex to add him to their impressive stable of talented quick bowlers.
Alleyne says: "Middlesex saw a lot of him this summer – more than I thought they might – but that’s because his performances were deserving of that.
"He’s a work in progress but Middlesex are understandably excited about his talent because he’s raw and has got as yet untapped potential. He’ll excite the bowling coach!"
Role: Top-order batsman
Biog: The fifth YC captain in succession to secure a county contract at the end of his year in charge, Lewis lived up to the pressure of the role to seal a deal back at his boyhood county Warwickshire.
Alleyne says: "Tom arrived as a hard hitting middle-order batsman but he’s developed into a consistent player with a bit more patience.
"He makes better decisions and trusts in his skills more and that’s benefitted him."