The crème of the MCC Universities (MCCU) scheme will hope to attract the attention of the first class counties after being selected for the MCCU Combined team.
A successful MCCU season reaches its climax at Lord’s on Monday 27 June when Cardiff take on defending champions Durham in the Universities Challenge final.
MCC Universities’ season is about to start though and they play their first ECB North Division Second XI Championship match against Lancashire II, starting on 29 June.
A 12-man squad featuring the best MCCU players not contracted to county sides has been selected for the opener by the team manager Clive Radley.
Radley, a former England batsman and ex-MCC Head Coach, said he was delighted with the make-up of his squad and looked forward to a successful summer.
He said: “2011 has already been a fantastic year for the MCC Universities scheme, and I am confident that we can continue this success with the combined team.
“A lot of very talented cricketers played for all six sides this summer, and I am really looking forward to working with this new group of players.
“I am sure that playing second XI cricket will provide a further platform for some of them to go on and secure professional contracts with counties.”
2011 has been a superb season so far for the MCCU scheme.
Cambridge secured the first win for an MCCU side over a first-class county since 2005 when they hammered a Surrey side captained by Kevin Pietersen by 10-wickets at Fenner’s.
Rob Woolley, who captained Cambridge during their historic win, is named in the MCCU combined squad.
More students have made centuries and take five-wicket hauls against the first-class counties in 2011 than in any other season since the scheme began in 2001.
Several current MCCUs have cemented a place in county first teams with a total of 12 students combining their studies with LV County Championship or Clydesdale Bank 40 cricket so far this summer.