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Cardiff Met Alumnus Selected for England Lions



​England’s batting coach, Graham Thorpe, presents Jack Leach with his Lions cap. Photo courtesy of ECB. 

A Cardiff Met alumnus cricketer has been selected for the England Lions team.

Jack Leach studied the BSc Sports Coaching pathway at Cardiff School of Sport and was a key member of the Cardiff MCCU squad - the Marylebone Cricket Club training scheme at Cardiff Met.

Jack is the first alumnus to be selected for international honours with the England Lions squad and is one of several Cardiff Met alumni players who have represented counties in first class games.

After graduating in 2012, Somerset CCC offered Jack a full time contract, where he made his first class debut against South Africa in 2012, claiming the wicket of Hashim Amla, leading ICC batsman at the time.  

Jack was subsequently selected to make his first-class championship debut against Lancashire taking 2 for 37 and became Somerset's most successful bowler by taking 65 first class championship wickets, despite missing part of the 2015 season due to injury.

His performance this season impressed the national selectors who confirmed his inclusion in the England Lions squad this November, where he joined the main England squad for intensive training at the ECB centre at Loughborough and then competed in Abu Dhabi. Jack has now been selected for the England Lions squad to tour Sri Lanka in February 2017.

Mark O'Leary, Cardiff South Wales MCCU Head Coach said: "I am delighted that Jack has been selected for the England Lions. At University Jack always had the drive and determination to become a professional cricketer; balancing his studies and practice, he always had the potential to play at the highest level."

Jack Leach said: "Cardiff MCCU scheme played a huge part in my career development as it gave me the opportunity to train in a professional environment, with great facilities and play against first class counties. I enjoyed studying at Cardiff Met alongside having the opportunity to work towards achieving my dream of playing first class cricket."

A current Cardiff Met student has also been recognised for his great performance in cricket, after Worcestershire County Cricket Club recently registered him to play.

Alex Milton, a second year Psychology student, is also a key member of the Cardiff MCCU squad and a previous member of the Worcestershire CCC academy. He has played numerous 2nd XI matches since being at University and has been a squad member of the MCC based at Lords, the home of cricket.

Cardiff South Wales MCCU Head Coach, Mark O'Leary said: "I am thrilled that Alex has been signed by Worcestershire CCC as he fully deserves this registration.  Alex has fully immersed himself in the professional support structure that Cardiff MCCU provides for elite cricketers both on and off the field. His commitment to his studies and training has allowed him to perform in practice and competition."

Alex Milton said: "Playing in the Cardiff MCCU scheme for the past year has been one of the best things that I've ever done as I have had the opportunity to test myself and play against first class counties. I'd highly recommend the scheme; it helped me further my education alongside playing cricket, teaching me how to balance the two disciplines. The winter training programme is well structured and as a keeper, I have found the fitness work equally beneficial for both my game and netting and cricket drills once the season started."