The cricket club aims to honour the school’s cricketing tradition whilst evolving to offer boys the best foundations possible in an increasingly busy timetable. A recent OR dinner at Lord’s highlighted the traditional strength as former England captains Ted Dexter and Andrew Strauss shared the stage for a Q&A session with Nick Gubbins who was about to jet off to Australia with the England Lions. As well as producing professional players, the club is just as committed to providing a proper cricketing education for boys who play in any of the 19 teams on a Saturday. Last summer 230 boys represented the school in official fixtures and we are proud to instil a love for the game and the values it promotes.
The cricket programme runs through all three terms. The winter is used for technical development in preparation for the summer season. The school’s cricket professional, Andy Wagner, was named Sky Sports’ coach of the year in 2012 and has been instrumental in the development of some of our finest players. During the off-season, he offers one to one coaching to the top cricketers in the school alongside two weekly net sessions, which are open to all. We have two dedicated cricket professionals on offer during those net sessions. A bowling machine and a newly-purchased 'Merlyn' allow boys of all abilities to develop skills for the summer.
However, the jewel in the crown of the club’s winter programme is the Academy, which meets on Sunday mornings and has enjoyed a glittering list of visiting coaches. Coaches with experience of the very top of the game and a range of specialisms come and share their wisdom. Recent visitors include OR and former England ODI international Jamie Dalrymple and Ashes-winning captain Andrew Strauss among others. These sessions allow the leading players from all year groups to exchange ideas and receive tips from cricketers who have played at the very highest level.
In the summer, the club has 19 teams across the year groups and a very strong fixture list. The 1stXI play in two cup competitions against some of the country’s leading cricket schools. The 1st XI won the John Harvey Cup and finished joint top of the Cowdrey Cup in 2017. However, whilst success on the pitch is important, the onus is on enjoyment of the game and a healthy respect for the values of cricket. Boys are encouraged to play the game in a competitive fashion without losing sight of the spirit of the sport.