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February 28, 2012
Three players with significant sporting pedigree will become MCC Young Cricketers this season. Liam Gough, son of former England fast bowler Darren, Billy Root, brother of Yorkshire batsman Joe, and Jamie Hoddle, son of former England footballer Glen, and are among 19 players in the 2012 squad.
Unlike his father, Gough is a batsman who bowls offspin. He turned 17 in November and is the youngest member of the new intake. Hoddle, meanwhile, is an allrounder and is part of the Middlesex academy.
Dipayan Paul from Blackheath is the other new recruit to the squad, hoping to build a professional career and follow New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor and Gloucestershire allrounder Will Gidman as successful recent graduates.
MCC Young Cricketers benefit from state-of-the-art facilities at Lord's and will compete in the south group of the Second XI Championship. They will also attend a pre-season training camp in Abu Dhabi alongside the combined MCC Universities.
Several players from abroad will also be part of the squad. New Zealander Henry Nicholls made his debut for Canterbury before Christmas and was recommended to MCC by former Australia coach John Buchanan. Australians Ben Dougall and Alex Ross will also arrive as part of a reciprocal arrangement with the Darren Lehman Cricket Academy.
MCC head coach, the former Gloucestershire and England allrounder Mark Alleyne, said: "I am delighted with the composition of the squad this year," Alleyne said. "There is excellent strength and depth in all disciplines and I am looking forward to seeing how they develop as a group during the season.
"The main aim for all the players this summer is sustainability and consistency. All of the guys are very talented young cricketers and they are all capable of putting in special performances - but the key is to be able to play well on a regular basis."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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