Cricket at Oakham School enjoys a long and illustrious history. From the first recorded game against Grantham College in 1821, cricket has gone from strength to strength as one of the major sports at Oakham with many Old Oakhamians pursuing a career in First Class cricket as a result of the coaching and support they received at School.
The three keys to cricket at Oakham are:
- The breadth of participation: Around 230 boys of all ages play cricket at Oakham during the Summer Term and the School regularly fields 15 teams. Our highly competitive fixtures list includes many of the best cricketing schools both regionally and nationally. The Girls 1st XI cricket team also made Oakham School history in 2018 playing competitive matches for the first time, which was a huge success. The girls now partake in training sessions and also play a series of fixtures against other schools throughout the summer.
- Our outstanding facilities: We have two grounds, which are maintained to an exceptional level and are used for county cricket matches and the BAF Smith Pavilion provides first-class facilities for teams and our guests. In 2014 Oakham had the honour of hosting the Bunbury English Schools Cricket Festival.
- The strength of our coaching: We have developed many gifted cricketers at county and international age group level who have gone on to play premier league, county and international cricket. Our winter training programme of age group indoor training sessions and cricket nets helps us ensure that we are well prepared at the start of the season.
The 1st XI play the XL club and MCC as well as regular inter-school matches. At the end of the season they compete in the BOWS Festival (Brighton, Oakham, Wellington and Sedbergh), while the U15s play in the Millfield School Festival, competing against Tonbridge School, Shrewsbury and hosts, Millfield. The U14s enjoy regular success in the Lord’s Taverners Cup Regional Competition. Our Lower School cricketers play a variety of fixtures against local schools and teams throughout the summer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The highlight for many cricketers is the chance to take part in a major overseas tour and pit their skills against some of the best cricket-playing schools in the world. Our most recent tour was in 2015 to South Africa with the next one planned for 2018.
I joined Oakham in January 2016 from South Africa, where I was Master in Charge of Cricket at Hilton College. Prior to this role, I played professional cricket for 17 years, both internationally for Zimbabwe and nationally for Leicestershire, Hampshire, Ireland, Western Province and Natal. I am enjoying settling into life at Oakham, along with my wife and two children.