England Cricket Captain delights young players as Oundle Hosts NatWest U13 National Cricket Finals
18th August 2015

Last week, Oundle School’s new J M Mills Cricket Pavilion played host to the NatWest U13 National Club Championship Finals, which saw Guildford CC from Surrey presented with the impressive Ken Barrington Trophy as the 2015 champions. To the delight of both the young players and the watching cricket fans, Ashes-winning England Captain, Alastair Cook presented all six teams with their medals and held an excellent Q&A session with all of the players.

The NatWest U13 National Club Championship 2015, organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), saw over 1700 teams take part across 40 different county competitions around the country. The winners of each of these county competitions progressed to the national stages of the competition held at Oundle School. Six clubs played in the round-robin league competition. Guildford were joined by Barnt Green (Worcestershire) who were also at the finals in 2014, along with Grange (Scotland), Oakham (Leicestershire & Rutland), Eastcote (Middlesex) and Parley (Dorset).


Alastair Cook

After the first day of the 20-over a side format, both Guildford and Grange had won both of their matches, with Barnt Green and Eastcote winning one and Oakham and Parley yet to get off the mark.

Thursday morning saw Eastcote take on Barnt Green and it was the standout bowling performance of Dhanesh Jegatheesan that was the highlight as he took 4-11, including a hat-trick. In the afternoon, unbeaten Grange and Guildford met. Guildford had their captain Matthew Stephenson to thank as he took 2-5 from his 4 overs before an unbeaten 31 guided his team to victory which meant Guildford could not be beaten in the round robin.

The last round of matches on Friday morning were badly affected by the weather with the Guildford v Barnt Green and Eastcote v Grange matches abandoned. Oakham and Parley, both yet to win in the competition, managed to play through the rain in a 10-over a side match which saw Parley win by 24 runs.

In the Final, Guildford’s Freddie Geffen was the top wicket taker with 10 wickets, while Eastcote captain Rishi Wijeratne was the best run scorer – remaining unbeaten in the three innings that he played.

Back in May, the School celebrated the official opening of the much anticipated J M Mills Pavilion at an event officiated by the then Headmaster, Mr Charles Bush, alongside special guest Mr Tom Harrison, a former pupil (Old Oundelian) himself and current CEO of the ECB. In his speech, Tom Harrison spoke of the fantastic addition the pavilion will make to future stars of cricket and hinted at the possibility of the new facility becoming home to a future Oundelian star in international cricket.


Oundle's new cricket pavilion

The J M Mills Pavilion is named after Mike Mills who enjoyed an 80 year history with Oundle cricket and the School as a pupil, teacher, Housemaster and Master in Charge of Cricket. Naming the building in his honour was a fitting way in which to remember him, after he sadly passed away last year before its completion.

NatWest invest in professional cricket, ensuring club, community and grassroots cricket are an integral part of their support. They have been involved with cricket for over 30 years and continue to strive to improve cricket at all levels.

Mrs Susie Raby, Enterprises and Events Manager at Oundle School, commented: “We were delighted to host the NatWest U13 and U15 National Club Championships for the second year running. It is a fantastic opportunity for young cricketers from all over the UK to come together in competitive spirit and having the U13 prizes presented by Alastair Cook will be something they remember for life.”

The ECB was established on January 1 1997 as the single national governing body for all cricket in England and Wales. Its headquarters are at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London NW8. The formation of the ECB was the culmination of a drive towards creating, for the first time, one unified body responsible for the management and development of every form of cricket for men and women. This included clubs, schools, juniors and youth, disabilities cricket, representative, first class and international cricket - the whole game from playground to the Test arena.


Background Information on Oundle School

Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.

The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In 2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology. A concurrent Sports Masterplan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion which opened April 2015. 

There are currently 1100 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 850 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children aged 4 to 11. 

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