Cricket is the major game for boys in the Summer term and has a long history at the College. Each season reaches its climax with the two-day Colours Match with Rugby – a fixture that dates from 1855 and which, until 1972, was played at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Each year the XI play in the John Harvey Cup alongside five other schools. In 2016 the XI reached the last 16 of the National Schools T20 Competition in their first year of entering. The College enters the National U17 Competition, and the Junior Colts 1st XI take part in the ESCA Lord’s Taverners U15 Competition (where they reached the semi finals in both 2018 & 2019) as well as the National U15 T20 competition. The Junior Colts also play in the Clark-Williams Trophy Festival at the end of term along with Eton, Shrewsbury and Uppingham. The Yearlings 1st XI have been U14 Wiltshire Champions in each of the last ten seasons.
The XI plays on one of the most beautiful school grounds in the country, and there are eight more cricket grounds, fourteen artificial nets and two cages on site.
The Pavilion was skilfully restored in 2013 after a benefaction by Mrs Jane Rose in memory of her late husband Henry (C1 1953-57). The restoration will enable future generations of Marlburians and Old Marlburians to provide first class hospitality to visiting teams and guests.
In addition to excellent outdoor facilities, there are five indoor nets within the Sports Hall complex and coaching is aided by the use of the new TrueMan Bowling Machine.
Facts and Stats
In 2019 under the leadership of Will Cook (SU 2014-19), the XI secured 8 victories from 13 completed matches and the College won 59% of all fixtures. In 2017, Captain Billy Mead (C1 2012-2017) became the first batsman to pass 1000 runs in a season for 56 years. His 214* against Sherborne broke the College’s individual batting record. Fellow Hampshire youth product Elijah Samuel (LI 2012-17) also amassed over 800 runs in the same season.
In 2017, the XI played Rugby at Lord’s in a one-day match as part of Rugby’s 450th anniversary celebrations. It was a fantastic occasion with many current pupils, parents and alumni of the two schools in attendance. Marlborough emerged victorious by 25 runs in a wonderfully exciting contest, with Max Read (TU 2012-17) scoring 141* and David West (TU 2015-17) taking 6-58.
In both 2018 and 2019, the Junior Colts 1st XI were crowned South West Champions on the way to the semi-finals of the InspireSport U15 Cup, reaching the last four of a competition in which over 1,300 schools enter nationally. Harry Cowling (C1 Hu) scored 215* for the Yearlings 1st XI in an U14 Wiltshire Cup match in 2018.
Famous Old Boys include AG Steel (Captain of Lancashire & England in the 1880s and MCC President in 1902), EH Spooner (England 1905-12), MG Griffith (Captain of Sussex in the 1960s and MCC President in 2013) and Christopher Martin-Jenkins (former BBC Cricket Correspondent and MCC President in 2011).
More recently Robbie Williams (BH 2000-05) played for Middlesex and Leicestershire and Edward Kilbee (C2 2001-06) and Uzair Qureshi (B1 2007-11) have had distinguished minor county careers with Wiltshire and the Unicorns. Billy Mead (C1 2012-17) was contracted the MCC Young Cricketers for the 2019 season scoring centuries against Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Such quality players will help to strengthen the Marlborough Blues (OMs) who have had some good runs in the Cricketer Cup.
Current College representative cricketers include; Will Hammerseley (PR L6) – Oxfordshire U17, Ben Higton (SU L6) – Wiltshire U17, Freddie Kottler (C2 L6) – Middlesex U17, Sean Montgomery (BH L6) – Wiltshire U17, Will Pembroke (C3 L6) – Wiltshire U17, Donald Corbett (TU RE) – Somerset District U15, Harry Cowling (C1 RE) – Hampshire District U15, Rupert Lloyd-Hughes (C3 RE) – Wiltshire District U15, Charlie Brook (C2 – SH) – Gloucestershire U15, Henry Cormack (TU SH) – Dorset Development U14, Joe Farndale (SU SH) – Hampshire District U14, Woody Wilson (LI – SH) – Wiltshire U15 and Edward Wrench (SU SH) – Wiltshire U15, Max Dunne (SU SH) – Gloucestershire U14 and Max Wyman (C3 SH) – Oxfordshire U14.
A total of 17 boys’ teams compete in the big block fixtures against major schools which include Eton, Radley, Bradfield, Cheltenham, Sherborne, St Edward’s, Wellington and Winchester; there are five teams at Yearlings level, four at Junior Colts, three at Colts and five Open XIs.
A successful tour to Barbados in 2017 saw the College win five out of seven matches. The tourists played a T20 under floodlights at the 3 Ws Oval and had the opportunity to meet West Indies legends Gordon Greenidge and Sir Garfield Sobers.
Previous tours to South Africa took place in 2012, 2009, 2006 and 2003 and to Zimbabwe in 1999. The 2006 tour was the perfect preparation for one of the most successful seasons in recent memory, with the side going on to win 12 out of 14 completed matches.
A combined Boys & Girls Tour to South Africa is scheduled for February 2020 and there will be an U15 Pre-Season tour to Desert Springs in April 2020.
Girls’ Cricket has witnessed significant evolution in recent years. Surrey U19 player Charlotte Bawden (MM 2010-15) made history by becoming the first girl to represent the XI when she made her debut in 2015. She went on the captain Durham University in 2018.
The inaugural Girls’ XI match took place against Bradfield in 2016 where Marlborough won a tight match in the last over. In 2018 the inaugural Girls’ XI match versus Rugby took place. There are now two Girls XIs and in 2019 the Girls XI were unbeaten including an excellent last over victory against Shrewsbury.
Representatively, Rosie Pembroke (EL Hu) made her full Wiltshire debut in 2016 becoming the youngest player, by two years, to represent the county. In February 2018, she captained the Wiltshire U18s tour to Sri Lanka where she scored three unbeaten half centuries. She is also part of the Southern Vipers Development Programme.
Mark Alleyne has been the Cricket Professional since January 2016. The former Gloucestershire all-rounder won 10 ODI caps for England between 1999 and 2000 and captained the record-breaking Gloucestershire limited over side of the early 2000s. He became one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year in 2001 and was awarded an MBE in 2004. Since retiring, 51-year-old Alleyne has been Head Coach at both Gloucestershire and then the MCC.
Former England Women’s captain Charlotte Edwards works part-time as the Girls’ Cricket Professional. Charlotte played 309 international games for England, captaining her country on 220 occasions and scoring over 10,000 runs. She won three Ashes Series and a World Cup and T20 Double in 2009. She was awarded a CBE in 2014. She is also Head of Hampshire Women’s Cricket and the Southern Vipers.
There are two other former first class cricketers on the Common Room. Turner Housemaster Gregor Macmillan played for Oxford University, Leicestershire and Gloucestershire and Head of Upper Sixth, John Carroll, played for Cambridge University.