Cricket is a key sport in the Summer term but during the winter months there is a comprehensive off season training programme consisting of one to ones, squad sessions and nets along with a physical fitness programme to prepare our cricketers for the season ahead. There is a strong fixture list comprising the likes of Oakham, Harrow, Radley, Bedford, Marlborough, Oundle, Rugby, Stamford, Bradfield College and Uppingham, amongst others.
Stowe cricket has enjoyed many successes in recent summers with five Stoics signing full professional contracts in the last ten years. Ben Duckett (Grafton 13) is the most recent to have signed a professional contract with Northamptonshire CCC. Ben has since gone on to represent England Lions and he made his Test match and ODI debuts against Bangladesh and India in 2016. Another former pupil – Graeme White (Bruce 05), also at Northants, has also played for England Lions on their recent tour to Sri-Lanka.
There cannot be many better settings for cricket than the North Front at Stowe. It was voted the most picturesque ground in England in the school’s Tattler magazine and was featured as one of 12 of the country’s most scenic cricket grounds in the Wisden Cricketer Magazine’s Calendar. Stowe has also been included in the Top 100 schools cricket guide also published in the Wisden Cricketer Magazine.
There has been major investment into cricket in recent years which has seen the addition of a seventh square, 11 lanes of turf nets, re-laid astro nets, a batting cage, £30,000 of lighting in the sports hall, two new bowling machines and stands, new covering for the whole 1st XI square and a ‘super sopper’ (very handy for a typically wet English summer!). The School has also invested over £10,000 in video analysis equipment as well as a ‘Meryln’ Bowling Machine, used by counties and international teams to hone batsman’s skills against spin bowling. With plenty of boarding facilities the School is also able to host teams from overseas as well as other English schools, which we do on a regular basis during our end of term festivals.
Teams and Coaches
Stowe runs up to 15 teams, seven Senior and eight Junior. Our full time Head of Cricket is James Knott (Level II coach), who was a professional with Surrey County Cricket Club. Performance teams have two coaches available to them to ensure players get the individual coaching required for them to reach their full potential. Several of the coaching staff have also played first class cricket. To complement the staff coaching team several Level III & IV external coaches are used throughout the year to offer specialist coaching.
Once every three years the 1st XI embarks on a major tour abroad. Recent Tours have included Sri Lanka, Grenada, India, Cape Town and Dubai. Every other year the Junior A teams have a pre-season tour - the most recent to Cape Town during February half term 2017.