Cricket has a long and established history at Bedford School 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, four teams at U15, three at U16 and five senior teams.
The 2018 season was a season to remember due to cup runs in various competitions –
- 1st XI reached the National Finals of the T20 Competition
- U17’s reached the final of the National U17 Competition
- U15’s reached the final of the National ECB Cup
- U14’s were county champions
The fixture card remains strong with block fixtures against schools such as Eton, Harrow, Stowe, Oundle and Repton, 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 40 years, Bedford School has produced a host of first-class and international players, with our highest-profile cricketing old boy being former England opening batsman, Sir Alastair Cook. Alastair was England Captain for five successful years, including two Ashes victories, and is 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, Derbyshire
England U19, Northamptonshire
ECB Elite Development Squad
The school currently has several boys in first-class county academies, Emerging Player Programmes and county age group squads with Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Hampshire and Derbyshire.
During the build-up to the summer term, the boys prepare for the season by attending a winter programme that includes –
- Masterclass sessions delivered by former professional cricketers such as Bob Taylor (England & Derbyshire – wicket keeping), Lloyd Tennant (Leicestershire/Essex – Pace Bowling), David Capel (England & Northamptonshire) and James Kettleborough (Northants/Glamorgan – Batting).
- Skill Sets which concentrate 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), Tom Brett (Northamptonshire CCC) and Director of Cricket, Gary Steer (Derbyshire CCC).
The cricket facilities at Bedford School include six new indoor cricket nets, 18 outdoor cricket nets (11 of which are new artificial nets), nine cricket squares and a wonderful pavilion next to the 1st XI pitch. It also has access to four bowling machines, including a new Merlyn ‘spin machine’. The 1st XI ground is also 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 Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, South Africa, Australia, UAE and Spain. The school embarks on a major tour every three years with the next tour possibly taking place in 2022.