Former MCC Young Cricketer Gareth Harte has signed for Durham until the end of the season.
The batsman played for MCC as recently as this month, scoring 78 against Yorkshire’s second XI on the back of a knock of 183 for Durham’s second XI against Northants the week prior.
Captain of the Young Cricketers, Harte scored over 500 runs last season at an average of 80 whilst also scoring 193 for Sussex second XI.
Able to play anywhere in the top-order, Harte may replace opener Stephen Cook who is set to miss Durham’s next two games due to commitments with South Africa.
The 24-year-old has also previously played second XI cricket for Kent, Sussex, Middlesex and Somerset.
MCC Head Coach Steve Kirby said: "I must give a mention to our former assistant coach Phil Hudson who spent a lot of time working with Gareth and deserves a lot of credit with his development.
"The Young Cricketers and the MCC Universities are increasingly becoming a finishing school, honing late developers in the game.
"Counties are buying into what we're doing and are seeing the benefits of forging closer links with the Club.
Gareth has shown with his work ethic, attention to detail and professionalism that he has been a true leader to everybody in our group
"I'm really confident that in the next few weeks that these partnerships with counties are going to see a few other players from the Young Cricketers programme following in the footsteps of Gareth by getting awarded their first professional contract within the game.
"Gareth has shown with his work ethic, attention to detail and professionalism that he has been a true leader to everybody in our group and we wish him all the very best for him at Durham and for his future career."
The Young Cricketers scheme has a rich history of producing international cricketers with notable 'graduates’ including England's Sir Ian Botham and Phil Tufnell, plus Australia's Mark Waugh.
Meanwhile, England’s Alex Hales, New Zealand’s Ross Taylor and West Indies’ Darren Sammy are three current internationals all to have been part of the scheme.
More recently, Australia batsman Matt Renshaw and New Zealand wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips have come through the Young Cricketers programme to represent their country.