Our pristine squares have been played on, our nets have been packed at every available moment and our boarders have been putting in some extra sessions in the evenings, which can only mean one thing: that the summer term, and indeed the cricket term, has well and truly arrived at Lambrook. With training aplenty and close to 400 competitive fixtures to look forward to this season, we are delighted that our children will once again be able to play this most iconic of sports. 

As Will McKegney, Head of Cricket shares, “I am unbelievably excited for this cricket season! It is crazy to think the last Lambrook cricket fixture was almost 2 years ago and since then I have waited very impatiently for another school cricket season to begin. I know that my excitement is shared across the club and our pre-season coaching session for staff was full of enthusiasm, passion and expertise – the Lambrook cricketers are very lucky to have such super coaches. We all hold high hopes for Lambrook cricket in 2021 but our main vision is to make cricket the talk of the school – we are keen to inspire and create a love of the game in every pupil, and the beautiful grounds and facilities are the perfect setting in which to do so.”

The Lambrook Cricket Pavilion in 1901

The Lambrook Cricket Pavilion today

Cricket has been played at Lambrook since its formation back in 1860 and has very much remained a highlight of each summer term. We are fortunate to have cricket scoring books from some of the first cricket matches played at Lambrook, back in Victorian times. One of the first recorded matches was between Lambrook and Ludgrove, a cricket fixture that we still enjoy today.

“W.O Bentley, was here as a boy at Lambrook and, after having seen his first cricket match at Lord’s during the summer before joining Lambrook, it became his passion. The fixture was between the M.C.C. and Yorkshire which, given the Bentley family heritage, was naturally the county to which he swore his undying allegiance.

At Lambrook, games of cricket were played on four days every week during the summer and W.O.’s prowess developed from his first season. Nets were also available and the coaching was clearly effective – by the age of twelve he was already opening the batting for the 1st XI, scoring 79 not out against Park House School in Reading.” John Kimbell, School Archivist

In 1960, when Lambrook celebrated its centenary, Audley Gray wrote down his own reminiscences of Lambrook, this time from his school days between 1897 and 1901. By then, the sport had obviously become well established:

“In the Summer Term, Cricket was played on four days of the week – on the other days there were nets, reserved for a very small number of boys from the top game. The Cricket Pavilion used to have a thatched roof and a very distinctive smell!”

“In the playground, during the morning break each day, ‘snob-cricket’ was played with a cut-down cricket bat and a tennis ball – the wicket or rather wickets (for several games went on at the same time) being chalked up on the gym wall.”

“We played Cricket against a large number of Prep Schools and our regular opponents were Wixenford (now Ludgrove), “The Dragon” of Oxfrod, St George’s Windsor, Eagle House, Cordwalles of Maidenhead (now St Piran’s), and a few others in the Ascot and Sunningdale area.”

“One of the main difficulties in arranging ‘away’ matches in those far-off days was transport. There were no motor cars or motor-buses, so the modern pupil may be surprised to hear that the teams travelled in hay wagons, provided by a local farmer. The wagon would be drawn by two cart horses, which seldom even trotted, and was driven by one of the carters. The boys sat on forms (benches) placed along the sides of the wagon.”

In 2019 cricket also became the main summer sport for Girls and since then we have seen both Boys and Girls continue to represent Lambrook and local teams, as well as winning sports scholarships to some of the leading senior schools in the country.

Cricket Scholar

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