Former England international Mark Alleyne believes Ashton-under-Lyne spinner Mohammad Abid has the potential to make a significant contribution with the ball for the MCC Young Cricketers this season after a solid tour to the United Arab Emirates.
The Young Cricketers, who are mentored by Alleyne, help players find contracts in the professional game and impress County Cricket bosses.
The 15-man squad took on Middlesex in two T20 matches before a three day and one day match with the MCCU Combined XI and a 50-over match against Sussex in the Zayed Stadium.
And Alleyne thinks Abid is in the right place to develop as he looks to hone his skills and make his way to the professional game.
“Getting genuine spin on the ball is something that Mo Abid has been working on with us,” said Alleyne.
“His previous experience in cricket has mainly been in the one-day game, where he has played a more containing role. So, fizzing the ball past the bat has never been a priority for him to this point.
“We’re looking for him to play more multi-day cricket now and he knows he has to bowl people out.
“So, we’re working on trying to get some more revs on the ball and get it past the batsman as well as increasing his variation a little bit.
“I’ve told the guys there is nothing to fear and that is the culture I want for all the young cricketers.
“There are no no-go areas – if you think you can do something, give it a go and if it doesn’t work then there is nothing lost. At least we know.”
After a successful tour Alleyne and Abid now turn their attentions to the season where the team will play against professional counties in the 2nd XI Championship and Trophy.
And Alleyne believes the tour has given his side the perfect preparation as they look to cement their cricket careers.
“The tour in Abu Dhabi was the fourth consecutive year we’ve been out there and it’s very fixture-heavy for a preseason tour,” he added. “It’s good to get out and play competitive cricket though.
“Very often the talent isn’t in question with boys we coach here – they can obviously play. But in cricket it’s about the application and some of these guys might have been misguided previously.
“They might have been in the wrong culture, so my job is to create an environment for them to express their talent in the right way.”
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.
Main image courtesy of Lord’s Cricket Ground via YouTube, with thanks.