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.
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 winter 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 1905-1912), 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. 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.
For the first time in 45 years, 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* & David West (TU 2015-17) taking 6-58.
Current College County representative cricketers include; Freddie Kottler (C2 RE) – Middlesex U15, Will Pembroke (C3 RE) – Wiltshire U15, Will Hammerseley (PR RE) – Oxfordshire U15 and Sam Baines (BH SH) – Gloucestershire U14.
Seventeen 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.
Each year the XI play in the John Harvey Cup competition 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 Junior Colts 1st XI plays in a festival at the end of term along with Eton, Shrewsbury and Uppingham and enter the ESCA Lord’s Taverners U15 Competition as well as the National U15 T20 competition. The Yearlings 1st XI have been U14 Wiltshire Champions in each of the last eight seasons.
A successful tour to Barbados in February 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.
Girls’ Cricket has witnessed significant evolution in recent years. Surrey U19 & Durham University player Charlotte Bawden (MM 2010-15) made history by becoming the first girl to represent the XI when she made her debut in 2015.
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 4 fixtures in 2017 and a further 8 matches scheduled for 2018. This includes the inaugural Girls XI fixture against Rugby in a T20 match on Prize Day as part of the College’s 175th and 150th anniversary of Girls celebrations. 2018 will also see the first Girls 2nd XI match too.
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 U18 tour to Sri Lanka where she scored three unbeaten half centuries. She is also currently 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, 48-year-old Alleyne has been Head Coach at both Gloucestershire and then the MCC.
There are has 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.