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2 April 2008 PR 08/41

Loughborough student earns prestigious cricket call-up

Arun HarinathLoughborough student Arun Harinath has been named in a Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) side to face champion county Sussex at Lords next week.

The 21-year-old, who also plays for Surrey, will join a senior team chosen in association with the England selectors and featuring a host of cricketers pushing for a place in the full England Test side in the season-opener which takes place from 10-13 April.

Currently in his second year of a social psychology course, Harinath is part of the Loughborough University Centre of Cricket Excellence (UCCE) which is funded by MCC and is part of a national initiative that aims to support talented cricketers in higher education. More than 30 players train and study at Loughborough’s mixed UCCE, which is the biggest and most successful university programme in the country.

Harinath scored 57 in his first-class debut against Somerset last season as part of Loughborough’s UCCE side. He went on to score 69 against Worcestershire then an impressive 118 against Leeds / Bradford UCCE during the MCC Universities Championship.

MCC Head of Cricket John Stephenson, who played this opening fixture in 2005 and 2006, believes the match will be an important step for Harinath in his cricket development.

“This match is a great opportunity for Arun to show his talent and by association highlight the depth of skill to be found in the MCC Universities,” he said. “He’ll learn a great deal from playing with the senior players, and will hope to use it as a springboard for success.

“This happened last year when an outstanding performance from Adil Rashid was the catalyst for a very good season, culminating in him being voted the Cricket Writers’ Club Young Cricketer of the Year.”

Loughborough’s Harinath is the fourth successive MCC Universities cricketer to feature in this fixture, an annual event that marks the start of the domestic cricket season.

-ENDS-

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Notes for editors:

  1. The MCC squad to play against the Champion County, Sussex, is as follows:

    Ed Joyce, captain (Middlesex)
    Ravi Bopara (Essex)
    Michael Carberry (Hampshire)
    James Foster, (Essex)
    Steven Finn (Middlesex)
    Arun Harinath (Loughborough UCCE and Surrey)
    Steven Kirby (Gloucestershire)
    Graham Onions (Durham)
    Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
    Alan Richardson (Middlesex)
    Owais Shah (Middlesex)
    James Tredwell (Kent)
  2. Ball-by-ball commentary of this match will be available via the Lord’s website http://www.lords.org
  3. This annual fixture was first played in 1970 when Glamorgan, the Champion County, played against MCC at Lord’s. Middlesex were the home from home opposition in 1991, whereupon the fixture ceased to be played. Subsequently, there were early season matches between a variety of teams, including England ‘A’, the Champion County and “the rest”. The MCC v Champion County fixture was revived in 2004 when Sussex were the visitors to the Home of Cricket.
  4. MCC Universities were first introduced in October 2000 by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB). MCC became the sole source of external funding in 2005. The UCCE scheme exists to give young players the ability to further their cricket careers to a very high standard without compromising their education.
  5. A photogaph is available of Arun Harianath on request from the Public Relations Office.
  6. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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