This week has seen a series of developments for Loughborough elite cricketers who are currently hard at work preparing for the new season.
The first announcement came from the ECB who have granted all six of the countries MCCU academies first class status. Loughborough already held the honour, which allows the men’s team to play against professional county teams and gain invaluable experience as they pursue careers within the sport.
Maintaining this first class status means Loughborough’s men’s MCCU team will once again play in a series of matches next year with the first coming at the beginning of April away to Nottinghamshire. Shortly after the boys will travel to the Rose Bowl for a three-day encounter with Hampshire before a local derby against Leicestershire takes place on home turf starting April 13th.
The team will be without Ravi Patel who has decided to take a leave of absence from the university therefore making himself fully available for selection for his professional county Middlesex. Ravi had a successful season last year with both Loughborough and the Middlesex second XI team and will be looking to make regular appearances for the newly promoted first team back in London.
Label reported on Loughborough students Oliver Wilkin and Rob Taylor both signing county contracts back in October.
Finally this week also saw the announcement of the England women’s squad for the February tour to New Zealand. The tour consists of five T20 and three ODI matches and will see three Loughborough women in the mix. Tammy Beaumont and Georgia Elwiss are back in the squad after having played in South Africa on a similarly comprised tour, and will be joined by opening bowler Anya Shrubsole. The first match will take place on the 17th February.