MCC Young Cricketers

The MCC Young Cricketers programme - the YCs - fosters talent and promotes successful careers in county or international cricket.

Fostering new talent

The  MCC Young Cricketers programme (YCs) demonstrates the Club's determination to foster new talent and maintain its reputation as the world's most active cricket-playing club.

After benefiting from expert coaching, intensive playing programmes and world-class facilities, many MCC Young Cricketers - both men and women - proceed to enjoy successful careers in county or international cricket. Notable 'graduates' of the MCC Young Cricketers programme include England's Ian Botham and Phil Tufnell, Australia's Mark Waugh and New Zealand's Ross Taylor.

The scheme also prides itself in assisting cricketers from outside the Test playing nations develop. Among recent graduates are Will Porterfield (Warwickshire and Ireland), Kevin O'Brien (Ireland) and Afghan pair Hamid Hassan and Mohammad Nabi.

With one in three MCC Young Cricketers going on to sign professional terms with a first-class county, the current squad will be hoping to emulate some of the recent success stories.

MCC was the first cricketing organisation in the country to pay female cricketers as professionals. Since the first intake in 2003 MCC has helped to develop the game of some of the most promising women’s players in England at an unprecedented level.

In 2012, the MCC Women's Young Cricketers agreed a collaboration with ECB which closer aligned the organisations to help further the development of young women players.

Importantly, the MCC Young Cricketers programme also develops the non-sporting skills of its participants, to ensure that they have a number of alternative career options available to them. Working with the Professional Cricketers’ Association, expert advice is available to all Young Cricketers throughout their time on the staff, to help guide them on their career path.

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Recent Graduates

There has been a number of MCC Young Cricketers who have recently signed professional contracts with first-class counties, as well as found success on the international stage.

The programme can be a valuable stepping stone to this level of success.  


Sussex-born Fynn Hudson-Prentice spent three seasons as an MCC Young Cricketer before signing a professional deal at Derbyshire and breaking into the first team.

Hudson-Prentice originally emerged as a youngster through the age group teams and academy at Sussex, and signed a professional deal at Hove in the winter of 2014.

The all-rounder had made his List A debut for Sussex earlier that year, before a first-class bow followed in the summer of 2015. After two seasons as a professional, Hudson-Prentice was released at the end of the 2016 campaign, and joined the MCC YCs programme at the beginning of the 2017 season.

The seamer and top-order batsman would go on to play 43 matches across all formats for the YCs, scoring 1,244 runs – with a best of 94 coming in his final match against a Surrey Second XI attack including Jade Dernbach and Sam Curran. He also took 57 wickets and took his best haul of 4 for 41 against Durham Second XI.

His performances for the YCs impressed Derbyshire, who offered Hudson-Prentice a trial in the summer of 2019 and he duly scored centuries against Durham Second XI and Worcestershire Second XI. He signed a three-year professional contract with the County, linking up with former MCC Head Coach Steve Kirby.

Hudson-Prentice broke into the first team and played 22 matches across all formats before the end of season, and fell only one run short of a century on his County Championship debut for Derbyshire, against Middlesex. He was an integral part in helping Derbyshire reach their first ever T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston later that season.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Glenn Phillips featured for MCC Young Cricketers in 2016. The New Zealander played nineteen matches for the YCs, and scored 738 runs in the process.

Born in South Africa, he moved to New Zealand with his family at the age of five and progressed with Auckland Cricket. He made his List A debut for Auckland in early 2015, a year before his stint at Lord’s.

He also played in the ICC Under-19 World Cup for New Zealand in 2016, before heading to the Home of Cricket. After a season with the YCs, he starred in New Zealand’s domestic T20 tournament – the Super Smash and his form earned him a call-up to the senior team.

Phillips made his International T20 bow at Eden Park in Auckland in February 2017, and in his fourth IT20 later that year, he hit a half-century in a victory over the West Indies in Nelson. His short format performances also earned him a stint in the Caribbean Premier League with the Jamaican Tallawahs.

During England’s winter tour of New Zealand in November 2019, Phillips made a century for New Zealand A against the tourists in a first-class warm-up match against an attack including Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes.

Following his excellent performances in the warm-up matches, Phillips was rewarded with a Test debut in the January 2020 series against Australia in Sydney. 

He was presented with his cap by fellow YC graduate Ross Taylor and went on to score 52 in his first Test innings, batting at number five for the Kiwis. 

Wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Cross played twenty matches on the MCC Young Cricketers programme in the summer of 2017, scoring 774 runs including a best of 75 against Warwickshire Second XI.

Aberdeen-born Cross had actually made his international debut for Scotland four years previous to his stint at Lord’s, in the same year as his first-class bow for Loughborough MCCU.

He made his International T20 debut for Scotland against in Kenya in 2013, having previously impressed for his country in the Under-19 World Cup in 2012.

Cross made an impression for his country in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers in New Zealand in 2014 – the same year as One-Day International bow – and helped Scotland qualify for the subsequent main tournament in 2015.

He has been a mainstay of the Scotland teams both either side of his time with the MCC Young Cricketers, and even during the programme. Twelve months after his time at Lord’s, he hit 48 in Scotland’s famous six-run victory over England at the Grange in Edinburgh.

Cross helped Scotland qualify for the ICC World T20 in Australia in 2020, having starred in the qualifying tournament held in the UAE in October 2019. He hit 189 runs in eight matches, averaging 47.25 at a strike rate of over 134.

New Zealander Finn Allen spent a year with the MCC Young Cricketers in 2017, playing 26 matches and scoring 724 runs, across all three formats of the game.

His best of 95 for the YCs came against a Yorkshire Second XI attack which included Ryan Sidebottom and Jack Brooks.

Before making his way to Lord’s, Allen had already featured for New Zealand Under-19’s, playing in the World Cup in Bangladesh at the age of only sixteen.

Following his stint at the Home of Cricket, Allen remained eligible for the Under-19 World Cup which was held on New Zealand soil at the end of 2017, and scored an unbeaten century against the West Indies at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

Later that season, Allen made his List A debut for Auckland in the same line-up as fellow former MCC YC Glenn Phillips, whilst his first-class debut followed in March of 2018.

During England’s tour of New Zealand in November 2019, Allen hit a century for a New Zealand XI against the tourists in a two-day warm-up match at Whangarei against a strong bowling line-up comprising the likes of Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes.

Notable Graduates

Many MCC Young Cricketers have gone on to excel in the first-class game, as well as represent their countries with distinction at international level.

It isn’t just England that the players hail from either, with many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Afghanistan represented amongst the MCC Young Cricketers’ alumni.


Dawid Malan, who was part of the MCC Young Cricketers programme in 2006, has gone on to not only become a stalwart with his county Middlesex, but also represent England in all three international formats of the game.

The hard-hitting left-handed batsman has scored over 11,000 first-class runs and over 5,000 runs in List A cricket since playing for the YCs and being snapped up by Middlesex.

Malan has also become a formidable commodity in T20 cricket, and made his England debut in a T20 International against South Africa in Cardiff in June 2017, scoring 78.

A month later, he made his Test bow for England, and played two matches against South Africa and three against the West Indies as he earned his place in the Ashes touring party that winter.

It was a difficult tour of Australia for England as they suffered a 4-0 defeat but Malan’s excellent 140 at Perth, as well as three other battling half-centuries, were some of the highlights of the series.

Aside from his prominent form in the English domestic T20 competition, he has represented Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, Barisal Bulls in the Bangladesh Premier League and Cape Town Blitz in South Africa’s Mzansi Super League. 

One of Afghanistan’s most coveted players, and a cricketer who has enjoyed an ascent which coincides with his country’s rise towards Test Match status in international cricket, Mohammad Nabi has been a key player in their side since they began their remarkable international journey.

Nabi made his MCC debut on the tour of the Netherlands in 2006, before spending two seasons at Lord’s on the MCC Young Cricketers programme.

He helped his country qualify for the World Twenty20 in 2010, 2012 and 2014, and captained them in the 2015 World Cup. He has played over 100 One-Day Internationals, over 50 T20 Internationals, and has become a sought-after asset for domestic cricket throughout the world, especially in the T20 format.

He has featured in Australia’s Big Bash, the Bangladesh Premier League, the Caribbean Premier League, England’s T20 Blast, the Indian Premier League and in the Pakistan Super League for various teams, as well as in Afghanistan’s own Premier League.

The pinnacle of his international career, and indeed Afghanistan’s journey, came in 2018 in their Test Match debut against India, in Bengaluru. Despite Afghanistan’s defeat, Nabi top-scored in the first innings.

One of the most recognisable figures in English cricket, Sir Ian Botham began his passage to cricketing icon by featuring on the MCC Young Cricketers programme back in 1972. He is the most famous of the YC amongst the alumni.

Botham, regarded as one of England’s greatest ever players and one of the finest all-rounders of all time, scored 5,200 runs in his 102 Test matches and took 383 wickets. He was the fastest to the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets.

He also starred for England at a time that One-Day International cricket was in its relative infancy. He scored over 2,000 runs and took 145 wickets his 116 matches.

Botham was awarded Honorary Life Membership of MCC in 1994 and has latterly become a recognisable voice in the commentary box since retiring from the game in 1993 with almost 20,000 first-class runs, and over 1,000 wickets to his name.

Ross Taylor, one of New Zealand’s highest ever international run-scorers, began his love affair with Lord’s at the age of 18, when he became part of the MCC Young Cricketers programme.

He spent three years on the MCC Young Cricketers programme in 2002, a stint which stood him in good stead to make his international debut in 2006; within two years he had made his bow in all three international formats of the game for his country

Taylor has since scored over 6,500 runs in Test matches, and over 8,000 in One-Day Internationals, a figure which sees him top of the list in terms of leading run-scorers from his country in that format.

He has also scored over 1,500 runs in T20 internationals and in the shorter format of the game, has had the chance to star on a global basis in many different leagues, including the Caribbean Premier League, England’s T20 Blast and the Indian Premier League.

Taylor has been at the fulcrum of New Zealand’s batting line-up since making his debut and was part of the side that reached the ICC World Cup Final in 2019, losing out in dramatic circumstances to England at Lord’s.