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. 2019 will see the College enter the National U17 Competition for the first time. The Junior Colts 1st XI plays in the Clark-Williams Trophy Festival at the end of term along with Eton, Shrewsbury and Uppingham and enter the ESCA Lord’s Taverners U15 Competition (where they reached the semi-finals in 2018) as well as the National U15 T20 competition. The Yearlings 1st XI have been U14 Wiltshire Champions in each of the last nine seasons.
The XI plays on one of the most beautiful school grounds in the country and there are eight more cricket grounds, 14 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
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) made impressive scores for Wiltshire in the Unicorns 2014 Championship Final against Staffordshire despite finishing on the losing side. Billy Mead (C1 2012-17) has singed a contract with the MCC Young Cricketers for the 2019 season. Such quality players will help to strengthen the Marlborough Blues (OMs) who have had some good runs in the Cricketer Cup.
In 2016, the XI secured 11 victories from 17 matches and the College won 60% of all matches. The following season 57% of all matches were won and the XI were victorious in 11 of their 19 matches. 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 2017, the XI played Rugby at Lord’s in a one day match as part of Rugby’s 450th anniversary celebrations. This 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 2018, the College won 48% of all fixtures with the Junior Colts 1st XI becoming South West Champions on the way to the semi finals of the ESCA U15 Cup, reaching the last four of a competition in which over 1,300 schools enter nationally. Harry Cowling (C1 2017-) scored 215* for the Yearlings 1st XI in an U14 Wiltshire Cup match.
Current College representative cricketers include; Will Hammersley (PR Hu) – Oxfordshire U17, Freddie Kottler (C2 Hu) – Middlesex U17, Will Pembroke (C3 Hu) – 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 U14, Henry Cormack (TU Sh) – Dorset U14, Joe Farndale (SU Sh) – Hampshire District U14, Woody Wilson (LI Sh) – Middlesex U14 and Edward Wrench (SU Sh) – Wiltshire 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 matches completed.
There are plans for a joint boys and girls’ tour to South Africa in February 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. After this success, there were four fixtures in 2017 and a further eight matches in 2018. This included the inaugural Girls’ XI fixture against Rugby on Prize Day as part of the College’s 175th and 50th anniversary of Girls celebrations which Marlborough won by eight wickets. 2018 also saw the first Girls’ 2nd XI match. There are ten Girls’ XI and three 2nd XI fixtures scheduled for 2019.
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, 50-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.