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.

2019 Squad

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Notable Graduates

Many MCC Young Cricketers have gone on to sign professional contracts with counties, and excelled in the first-class game, but a number of players have also succeeded 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.