KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
Founded in 1787, Marylebone Cricket Club is the most active and famous cricket club in the world and owner of Lord's Cricket Ground - the Home of Cricket.
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MCC Young Cricketer Jamie Porter is just the latest in a long line of ambitious young English cricketers to swap the harsh realities of the British winter for the Australian sunshine in order to work on their game.
Last year I learnt a lot
Jamie Porter is hoping that a second successive winter spent plying his trade Down Under will have the same effect as his first, as he sets his sights on once again topping the YCs' bowling averages and furthering his claims for a professional contract.
Porter, 19, made the most of his trip to the Darren Lehman Cricket Academy in Adelaide last winter, returning to England to take 36 wickets at 24.94 for Mark Alleyne's YCs - impressing none-other than Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the process.
And the Leytonstone-born fast-bowler hopes his experience playing for Mont Albert in Melbourne this winter will give him exactly the kind of springboard needed to enable him to be elevated to a county contract.
"The biggest benefit of playing out here would have to be the cricket itself: being able to have access to outdoor facilities in the off season is a massive advantage," said the 6' 1" quick bowler, who has set himself an ambitious target of topping the league's wicket tally.
"From my previous trip here last year I learnt a lot about bowling on unresponsive wickets, it taught me the importance of control and I also developed new variations to my game."
Porter was the YCs' joint-second top wicket-taker in his first summer at Lord's in 2011, after joining as a 17-year-old. And he backed it up with a strong second season, which featured a 'dream over' against Hampshire XI at the Rose Bowl, when he took four wickets in five balls to win the match in what was effectively the last over of a three day game.
MCC Head Coach Alleyne praised Porter's efforts so far on the scheme, but sounded a word of warning to his young charge: "To make the next step, Jamie needs to address some conditioning issues," said the ex-England and Gloucestershire all-rounder.
"I know he is doing his work there on his running style and core to help him sustain his performances for longer periods."
"He performed well last summer though, and his personal highlight must be the encouragement from Shivnarine Chanderpaul after his practice net before the Test at Lord's in May;'you will get a lot of 1st Class wickets bowling like that'."
Porter and Alleyne will be hoping the West Indies legend also does a good line in Nostradamus impersonations.