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‘I composed these lines when a summer wind

Was blowing the elm leaves dry

And we were seventy-six for seven

And they had C.B Fry.’

John betjeman

The Cheltenham College Cricket Festival is as synonymous as the Races and the Jazz Festival but the exceptional feature of College life is that the pupil body is privileged to play the game on such a beautiful and historic cricket ground. 

The ground has seen some wonderful cricketing feats. The great Dr W.G.Grace took 12-73 in the 1872 Gloucestershire vs Surrey game and then in 1877 he took 17-89 against Nottinghamshire and promptly followed this up with the first ever triple hundred, 318 not out. Indeed, Wally Hammond set a world record that still stands taking ten catches in an innings by a fielder and as if that was not enough he then scored a ton in each innings against Surrey in 1928. 

It is in the shadows of this cricketing history and superb setting that the modern College pupil is fortunate enough to learn the game. During the summer term the cricket club fields fourteen sides in all of the major block fixtures and alongside this there is also a girls cricket team. 

The pupils follow a well - structured winter nets programme that takes place in the evenings of the Lent term and this allows the cricketers perfect preparation for the summer term where they enjoy three sessions a week and a competitive fixture. The College XI plays in the John Harvey Cup against Radley, St Edwards, Marlborough, Bradfield and Winchester College and in turn this provides the club with our main block fixtures. Alongside this the College also plays Sherborne, Abingdon and Clifton. 

The cricket professional Mark Briers (Worcestershire and Durham) has instilled a lasting ethos at College. Whilst the College has enjoyed real success over recent years it is seen as wholly crucial that the game is enjoyed by all, it is open to all and that it is played in the manner in which the legends of the game that have graced College Field would expect. 

For the fixture list and results please see the website 

Richard Moore 

M i/c cricket