Ashton-under-Lyne’s Mo Abid is confident of earning a county contract after getting England international Michael Yardy in a spin during the MCC Young Cricketers’ recent tour of Abu Dhabi.
The MCC Young Cricketers was set up to develop academy graduates who have not been offered a contract and give them the opportunity to showcase their talents against professional counties in the 2nd XI Championship and Trophy.
On the tour, they took on Middlesex in two T20s before playing MCCU Combined XI in a three-day match and rounding off proceedings with a 50-over outing against Sussex at the 20,000-capacity Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
They won the Sussex contest by two runs, with spinner Abid taking the crucial wicket of Yardy, and the 21-year-old admits it was the perfect end to a memorable tour.
“I really enjoyed the tour because I bowled well and the hospitality was very good,” explained Abid, who plays for Ashton Cricket Club.
“They weren’t really spinning wickets out there, they were flat wickets, but I really enjoyed bowling.
“We won against Sussex which was great – really that was a first-class game and they had two internationals in their team.
“That was a good game and we were all really excited afterwards. We always expect to win every single game and we did that against Sussex.
“I took three wickets against Middlesex and then got Michael Yardy out against Sussex, so I really enjoyed it.”
The MCC Young Cricketers are coached by former England international and Gloucestershire captain Mark Alleyne and the MCC invest £300,000 into the scheme annually.
Like many of the Young Cricketers, Abid was previously a part of a county’s academy – playing for Lancashire as well as England U19s.
After being released by Lancashire, the Pakistan-born bowler is now in his third year with Alleyne’s team but is confident he is close to a top-class return.
“Being part of the Young Cricketers has really helped my development over the past couple of years,” added Abid, who is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Sir Ian Botham – a successful former MCC graduate.
“Mark is a great coach and he has helped me a lot to improve my batting and my bowling.
“It’s a great programme to get a county contract because you are playing at second XI level regularly.
“I think I’m close to getting a county contract and it’s definitely possible because when you’re playing against county sides regularly, the opposition coaches look at you and might call you.”
Marylebone Cricket Club’s famous Young Cricketers programme provides expert coaching, intensive playing schedules and world-class facilities to young men and women with the potential to progress to professional cricket. Notable ‘graduates’ include Sir Ian Botham, New Zealand’s Ross Taylor and England Women’s Heather Knight.