The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has funded six cricket academies in England and Wales since 2005. These academies are called the MCC Universities. The academies are based in Oxford, Loughborough, Leeds, Durham, Cardiff and Cambridge.
Every season, the MCC Universities play three games each against County teams. In addition to these, they also play against each other in the MCC Universities Championship. The MCC Universities Championship is a two-day league competition where the final is played at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground between the best two sides of the tournament.
The MCCUs offer hundreds of courses for students at all academic levels and host some of the best facilities and coaching resources. In this regard, the MCC provides £56,360 per year to each MCCU for their running and to provide top-class training facilities to their graduates.
English opener and current director of English cricket, Andrew Strauss is the most famous MCC University graduate. Other notable cricketers who have plied their trade for England having come through the MCC University ranks include Zafar Ansari (Cambridge), Harry Gurney (Leeds) and Sam Billings (Loughborough).
The first round of matches for the 2018 edition of the tournament went underway from the 1st of April. Two matches were abandoned without a ball being bowled in the opening round. The final round of the tournament will be held between 13th and 15th April.
The 2017 edition of the tournament was clouded with controversy when Leicestershire veteran seamer Charlie Shreck was found to have used obscene gestures in their match against Loughborough MCCU. As a result, the county side was docked by a 16-point penalty and their captain Mark Cosgrove was suspended for a game.