MCC has announced a 12-strong women’s Young Cricketers (YC) squad for the 2011 season - including five full England internationals.
2009 ICC Women’s World Cup and ICC World Twenty20 winner Sarah Taylor, 21, is the most eye catching new recruit.
Susie Rowe of Kent also joins the staff after making her England debut in 2010 while promising Berkshire youngster Daisy Gardener also enters the YC scheme.
Strength and depth
Seven of the squad, including Rowe, Taylor and Gardener will be based full time at Lord’s with the other four women retained from last season.
England internationals Danni Wyatt, Heather Knight and Fran Wilson return for another year, alongside England Academy player Georgia Elwiss.
A new mentor scheme will be used for the first time, with former YC Natasha Miles rejoining the scheme. Miles will train and play with the squad as well as using her experience to help her teammates develop.
For the second season running, five school-age cricketers - Raveena Lakhtaria, Alex Macleod, Hannah Phelps and Dee Tress will also train with the full-time players at Lord’s in the summer holidays.
It is the largest women's squad MCC has ever assembled.
MCC Women’s Coach Alan Duncan declared himself very pleased with the balance of his squad for 2011.
Duncan said: "The larger number of players compared to previous years provides much greater variety along with strength, depth and experience.
"The inclusion of international-quality players such as Taylor, Wyatt and Knight, is hugely exciting, and will provide an ideal learning environment for the younger girls involved through the scholarship programme.
"I certainly believe that we will see further members of the squad break into the England set-up in the not too distant future.
"It is fantastic to see how far the MCC Women’s YCs scheme has developed over the past nine years, and I am really looking forward to working with this group of talented young players over the summer."
A diverse fixture list has been compiled for the season which includes fixtures against women’s county teams, schoolboy teams and for the first time, a two day fixture against MCC Women.
MCC is the only cricketing institution in the world to pay female cricketers as professionals.
Since the first women’s YC intake in 2003, MCC has played a significant role in producing the players who have taken England to the top of the women’s game.
Current England players Caroline Atkins, Lauren Griffiths and Beth Morgan are graduates of the scheme.
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