With the UK enjoying hosting the Cricket World Cup and Lambrook having an extremely successful cricket season, we thought that it would be a good opportunity to catch up with our outgoing Master in Charge of Cricket, Warren Miller, and our newly appointed incoming Master in Charge, Will McKegney; we talk to them both about their love for the game and their thoughts on cricket at Lambrook:
Where is your favourite cricket ground?
Will – My old school (King’s, Taunton) 1st XI pitch was where I grew up playing and watching my most enjoyable cricket and making such fond memories with my best mates, so that has to be in there. Since leaving school and playing with the Free Foresters, Seaton Cricket Club in Devon has become a special place to play – as some of our Lambrook parents will be able to relate to! On an international scale, Newlands in Cape Town is pretty hard to look past in terms of scenery and an atmosphere. I was there in 2009 for the Test Match Vs Australia and also saw all of the IPL teams playing there for the year South Africa hosted it, which was pretty cool
Warren – Edrich Oval at Lambrook and Lord’s.
Who is your cricketing hero?
Will – If I were to say Jos Buttler that would be a little biased and slightly cringe as he is one of my oldest friends! So I will go leftfield and say Michael Clarke. I based my game around him as a youngster and I loved his captaincy style, he is also a great pundit and conducted himself so well during the Phillip Hughes incident and losing the Ashes in 2015.
Warren – Definitely Shaun Pollock, who was the 1st XI captain at my school (and later SA captain), he was an incredibly hard-worker and one of the most genuine people around – nice guys do come first!
What has been your personal greatest cricketing moment to date?
Will – Playing for Somerset through my schoolboy days and playing in the National Schools T20 Finals day at the Wormsley Estate, sadly we lost to eventual winners Repton!
Warren – Winning the Minor Counties Championship with Buckinghamshire in 2009 and also playing against Wales at Lord’s in 2010.
What has been your cricketing highlight at Lambrook?
Will – South Africa Tour 2018. In 2016 I toured whilst suffering with tonsillitis so that wasn’t ideal!
Warren – South Africa Tours 2013 and 2018 were definitely the highlights.
So the tours rank pretty highly – what makes them so good?
Warren – what?! – taking 14 of the best Lambrook cricketers to the best country in the world?!
Will – They are a fantastic opportunity for any young boy to be a part of and create an added focus for any Colts ‘A’ side towards the back end of the season. They provide a real edge to our winter training programs going back as far as the September before we leave the following October. Once we have selected the touring party, they are an amazing experience both educationally and from a cricket development point of view, as well as raising the profile of our relationship with Hope Valley.
Warren – Their cricket also improves significantly by the end of the tour which stands us in good stead for the upcoming summer season.
How long has cricket been played at Lambrook?
Warren – Cricket has been played at Lambrook since the school’s earliest days. In the 1870s cricket was the most popular sport at the School, although matches were played internally. The first competitive matches against local schools were played in the 1880s when Queen Victoria’s grandsons, Prince Christian Victor and Prince Albert were at Lambrook. Queen Victoria came to Lambrook to watch her grandsons play in cricket matches.
What do you make of our cricket facilities at Lambrook?
Will – We are extremely fortunate to have 9 pitches on the one site, ranging from our junior grounds to the excellent 1st XI ‘Edrich Oval’. Our net selection (2 turf , 4 indoor, 3 artificial) is expansive and varied though we are always looking to upgrade our facilities where possible.
How many cricket matches do we have at Lambrook?
Warren – Close to 200 matches for boys and over 100 for the girls. Our most notable, or enjoyed fixtures are against Caldicott, Ludgrove, The Dragon, Cheam, Farleigh and Cranleigh.
Who are Lambrook’s biggest rivals?
Warren – Caldicott.
Will – Caldicott from a cricketing standard, Ludgrove for the geographical/historical rivalry and staff bragging rights!
What sets Lambrook apart from other Prep Schools in terms of cricket?
Will: Our current drive behind girls’ cricket would be second to very few, if any, other prep schools. We are looking to be at the forefront of girls’ prep school cricket where our girls are of equal playing ability to the boys. We are innovative in our approach, playing various forms of the game and incorporating new fixtures and coaches wherever possible. We have provided extra nets opportunities throughout the year and have established good club links where the girls can access specific coaching. We hope to see more girls playing representative cricket and winning more sports scholarships to senior schools in the future.
Our boys’ cricket has improved considerably over the past ten or so years and we will continue to maintain these high standards. Our winter net program is intense and the opportunity to tour South Africa drives motivation and improvement as the boys move through the school. A good number of our pupils represent counties and win sports scholarships to top public schools and we love celebrating their futures successes.
Warren – We are also keen to commit to long term learning and our Senior Coaches coach both our senior teams and also Year groups lower down the school.
Cricket is not just a summer sport – we take cricket seriously throughout the year, and have regular coaching sessions throughout the winter months.
What is the most important thing about cricket at Lambrook?
Warren – We aim to install a love and appreciation for all forms and aspects of the game, so that when they step up to the next level of development, they are ready.
Will – We are very keen to install a holistic love for the game, and everything it offers both on and off the pitch. Leadership skills, socialising with the opposition, adapting to different situations, building confidence and resilience all contribute towards our cricket club ethos and support their future development in the game – at whatever level they go on to play.
Will – What future plans do you have for Lambrook?
Along with reinforcing our cricket club ethos, the quality of our cricket at Lambrook must continue to increase and hopefully this will lead to some pleasing results against some of our selected schools. I would love to complement our club by introducing some additional external coaches as well as improving some of our facilities with new/updated net facilities and a revamp of our Pavilion. We have also been filming some of our games and this has really helped with the development of our players. I hope to be able to use this even further. Continuing to tour and host touring sides create great memories and expanding our “Super 15” tournament on the final Monday of term to a 6-school competition next year (our 160th) is a big focus prior to the 2020 tour in October.
Who are you backing as World Cup Winners?
Will – Outside of England I think India are second favourites but my money (literally!) is on New Zealand…
Warren – England or India to win, but I really hope NZ win. I love Kane Williamson – no histrionics, just a high-class batsman.
What do you make of the outgoing Master in Charge of cricket?
Will – Had it not been for the quota system, Warren Miller (the only umpire to still wear a rimmed cricket hat on the schoolboy circuit) would have definitely played for South Africa. Had he come over to England as a teenager he would been as influential on English cricket as many International players.
And Warren – what do you make of the incoming Master in Charge of cricket?
Warren – Everyone on our circuit thinks McKegney looks like a clown in his striped blazer. I don’t, though!
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