Cricket has a long and established history at Bedford with records dating back to 1866, and it continues to be one of the school’s four major sports. Bedford School currently runs four teams at U14, three teams at U15, two at U16 and four senior teams.
The fixture card remains strong with block fixtures against schools such as Harrow, Stowe and Oakham, whilst traditional two-day games against Tonbridge and the Old Bedfordians (along with the MCC fixture) are arguably the highlights of the season. In the last 35 years, Bedford School has produced a host of first-class and international players, with our highest profile cricketing old boy being current England opening batsman, Alastair Cook. Alastair was England Captain for five successful years, including two Ashes victories, and is also the highest run scorer in Test matches for England. Other old boys include:
Cambridge University (Captain), Combined Universities, Northamptonshire
England U15 Captain
Cambridge University (Captain), Lancashire
British Universities, Nottinghamshire, Durham, Hampshire
England U19 (Captain), Northamptonshire (current Captain)
England U18, Northamptonshire, Glamorgan
England U19, Northamptonshire
ECB Elite Development Squad
The school currently has several boys in England youth squads, first-class county academies, Emerging Player Programmes and county age group squads with Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Worcestershire and Derbyshire.
During the build up to the summer term, the boys prepare for the season by attending a winter programme that includes –
- Master Class sessions delivered by former professional cricketers such as Karl Krikken (Derbyshire – wicket keeping), Lloyd Tennant (Leicestershire/Essex – Pace Bowling) and James Kettleborough (Northants/Glamorgan – Batting).
- Skill Sets which focus on the key areas of batting, bowling and wicket keeping.
- Age Group Sessions (summer and winter) – which focus on net practice, one to one coaching and fielding. Bedford School utilises several excellent coaches to cover all facets of the game, such as David Capel (England & Northamptonshire All Rounder and ex-Northamptonshire CCC 1st XI Coach), Ben Howgego (Northamptonshire CCC), Tom Brett (Northamptonshire CCC) and Director of Cricket, Gary Steer (Derbyshire CCC).
The cricket facilities at Bedford School include six indoor cricket nets, 18 outdoor cricket nets, six cricket squares and a wonderful pavilion next to the 1st XI pitch. It also has access to four bowling machines and a brand new Merlyn ‘spin machine’. The 1st XI ground is also regularly used by Northamptonshire for 2nd XI games/age group training camps and also Bedfordshire for Minor County matches/age group fixtures.
Over the recent years, the school has toured to Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, South Africa, Australia, UAE and Spain. During Easter 2017 a squad of players at U15 and U18 will tour the UAE to prepare for the forthcoming season.