Cricket

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 against Rugby – a fixture that dates from 1855 and which, until 1972, was played at Lord’s. Girls cricket has evolved quickly since its introduction in 2016, with rapid expansion continuing.

There is a strong emphasis on culture. Success on the pitch is important, but not at the expense of the spirit of the game. A healthy respect for the values of cricket is nurtured. The onus is on learning, self-reflection, aspiration and, most importantly, enjoyment.

An excellent group of staff invest enthusiasm, energy and time into making the experience as enjoyable as possible. The coaching programme is led by former Gloucestershire all-rounder Mark Alleyne MBE. Alleyne won 10 ODI caps for England and captained the record-breaking Gloucestershire side of the early 2000s. He is an ECB Level 4 Coach and has recently coached at Glamorgan & the Welsh Fire.

The College boasts charmingly scenic grounds set against the backdrop of the rolling Wiltshire countryside. It hosts Wiltshire annually in the NCCA 50 over Cup and England Over 50s matches, and was the venue for the Women’s Ashes warm-up game between Australia and England Academy in 2019.

Mike Bush

Master in Charge, Cricket

The XI play on one of the most beautiful school grounds in the country. The Pavilion was designed by Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse and built in 1874 – it is 150 years old this year. There are ten more cricket grounds, 14 artificial nets and three cages on site.

In addition to excellent outdoor facilities, there are five indoor nets within the Sports Hall complex and coaching is aided by the use of a TrueMan Bowling Machine. A new fully enclosed, covered training hub facility is under construction.

Sixteen boys’ teams compete in block fixtures against major schools, including Bradfield, Cheltenham, Eton, Radley, Sherborne, St Edward’s, Wellington and Winchester. There are four teams at Yearlings & Junior Colts levels; three at Colts; and five Open XIs. Girls cricket has been running for nine seasons, and over 60 girls play. There are currently four XIs with a vibrant fixture schedule that includes Bradfield, Cheltenham, Rugby, Shrewsbury, St Edward’s & Wellington.

The XI compete in the John Harvey Cup (which was won by the XI and the Yearlings 1st XI in 2023) and the HMC National Schools T20 Competition. The College also enters the National U17 Boys Cup and National Girls U15, U17 and 100 Ball Cups. The Junior Colts take part in the ESCA Lord’s Taverners U15 Competition (where they were semi-finalists in 2018, 2019 & 2023) as well as the National U15 T20 competition. The Junior Colts won the prestigious Clark-Williams Trophy Festival with Eton, Shrewsbury and Uppingham in 2021 & 2022. The Yearlings 1st XI have been U14 Wiltshire Champions in each of the last 13 seasons.

The inaugural mixed boys and girls tour to South Africa in February 2020 saw the boys playing against the best of the Cape Town schools and the girls against representative sides from Western Province. Highlights included a two-wicket win against Wynberg Boys High School on the Jacques Kallis Oval, and a victory against the Regional Performance Centre at Tygerberg CC, home club of Vernon Philander.

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.

There is a senior boys tour to Barbados, and U15 Boys & Girls UK based pre-season trips are scheduled for Easter 2024.

Marlborough has strong links with local cricket clubs and hosts training and matches for Wiltshire age groups and the Gloucestershire/Wiltshire Emerging Player Programme. Current pupils are involved in the Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Sussex & Wiltshire youth programmes.