MCC place for Old Northamptonians bowler Babar

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Old Northamptonians’ seamer Afaq Babar will be part of the MCC Young Cricketers squad in 2013.

The 21-year-old, who has made a number of appearances for Northamptonshire 2nd XI, is one of 18 cricketers named by head coach Mark Alleyne for the upcoming season.

Babar, who took 43 wickets for the ONs in the NCL Premier Division last year, will get the chance to impress county coaches with the MCC side competing in the North Divisions of the ECB Second XI competitions.

MCC head coach, the former Gloucestershire and England all-rounder, Mark Alleyne, said: “I am delighted to welcome Afaq into the YCs squad this summer.

“I have been impressed every time I have watched him play, and have heard several excellent reports about him, so I am really looking forward to seeing what he can do out in the middle for us during the season.

“He is currently a very raw bowler, and I am sure that the structure and environment that the YCs scheme can offer him will help him to develop.

“The last couple of summers have been frustrating results-wise, and whilst success for the YCs scheme isn’t always about winning individual matches, it is important to ensure that we are attracting the attention of county coaches with strong performances on the field.

“I want every player, including Afaq, to be out there and challenging for a county contract this season.”

Before the season, the MCC will travel to Abu Dhabi for a training camp alongside a combined MCC Universities side.

Also in the squad is Liam Gough, son of former England bowler Darren, who has played for the NCCC Academy side.

A number of graduates have gone on from the Young Cricketers to have successful professional careers with the most famous being Ian Botham.