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 hope for further expansion in the future.
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 cricket 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 between 1999 and 2000 and captained the record-breaking Gloucestershire limited-over side of the early 2000s.
The College boasts charmingly scenic grounds set against the backdrop of the rolling Wiltshire countryside. It hosted Wiltshire in the NCCA 50 over Cup in 2022, England Over 50s in 2021 & 2022 and the Women’s Ashes warm-up game between Australia and England Academy in 2019.
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. There are eight more cricket grounds, 14 artificial nets and two 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. Plans are underway for a new eight-lane, fully enclosed, covered training hub facility.
Fixtures and Tours
Seventeen boys’ teams compete in block fixtures against major schools, including Bradfield, Cheltenham, Eton, Radley, 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. Girls’ cricket has been running for six seasons, and just under 50 girls play. There are currently three XIs with a vibrant fixture schedule that includes Shrewsbury, Rugby, Bradfield & St Edward’s.
The XI compete in the John Harvey Cup and the HMC National Schools T20 Competition. The College also enters the National U17 Boys Cup and National Girls 100 Ball Cup. The Junior Colts take part in the ESCA Lord’s Taverners U15 Competition (where they were semi-finalists in both 2018 & 2019) 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 12 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.
Unfortunately, the Junior Colts Pre-Season tour to Desert Springs planned for April 2020 was cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. There are current plans for a future trip to Desert Springs and a senior boys tour in 2023-24.
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 and Wiltshire youth programmes.