An east London teenager has won a dream professional contract with the MCC Young Cricketers (YCs) after impressing in the Wisden City Cup (WCC) competition.
Dipayan Paul, 18, will join the YC squad at Lord’s in 2012 after MCC Head Coach Mark Alleyne identified his potential while playing in the WCC.
Alleyne made the announcement at the conclusion of a 20-over match between the current YC squad and a combined team consisting of WCC players from London and Leicester on Sunday 11 September.
All round package
Paul is an off-break bowler and hard hitting middle order batsman from Limehouse who plays his cricket for Blackheath CC.
He is the first youngster to win a YC contract through the partnership between MCC and the WCC.
Paul expressed his delight at his selection and fulfilling his ‘dream’ of becoming a professional cricketer.
“I’m very excited. It feels very, very good to be chosen,” he said.
“I felt really tense in the morning because I knew how important a day this was but just wanted to try my best and hope something good would happen.
“I’ve just finished college and now can’t wait to get started. I’ve dreamed of being a professional cricketer since I was a small boy and now I’ve taken the first step.”
Former England and Gloucestershire captain Alleyne said Paul had ticked all the right boxes.
He said: “We thought that, not just today, but over the whole Wisden City Cup competition, he has impressed us most – and turned in the most consistent performances.
“He fits in well in terms of what we are looking for – and for the balance of our side.
“We haven’t got depths and depths of spin bowling talent and I like how he bowls and he’s no slouch with the bat either.
“It’s a good all-round package – he’ll fit in well. We’ll look after what he’s doing during the winter and then he’ll join us next March.
“We are preparing guys to go into the First Class game and he’s the perfect age to go on and do that.”
In a close contest at Grace Road, the YCs edged to victory by just eight runs, scoring 122-8 before restricting their opponents to 114-6.
Earlier in the day Leicester defeated London in the first Wisden City Cup Final by three wickets.
The Wisden City Cup, designed to promote inner-city cricket and social cohesion, has been staged in London under the auspices of Middlesex County Cricket Club since 2009.
Leicestershire County Cricket Club launched an equivalent WCC competition in Leicester this summer.
The MCC Young Cricketers programme demonstrates MCC’s determination to foster new talent and maintain its reputation as the world's most active cricket-playing club.
The YCs are provided with world-class facilities and top coaching at Lord’s, with the team competing in the Second Eleven Championship and the Second Eleven Trophy.
Recent alumni include Darren Sammy (West Indies), Ross Taylor (New Zealand) and Alex Hales (England & Nottinghamshire).