Brentwood School at Brentwood Cricket Club

             Brentwood School at Brentwood Cricket Club

Pupils, parents and teachers from Brentwood School, Barbados March 2011.

This article was kindly contributed by Simon Weale, Deputy Headteacher at Brentwood School and originally published in the 2011 Lashings World XI Match Day Programme - also on the Club website.

The links between Brentwood Cricket Club and Brentwood School go back many years, and there are many instances of exceptionally good Brentwood Cricket Club players, most recently Aaron West, who learnt a great deal about the game whilst at Brentwood School.  The links between the school and club were cemented in the 1970s when an agreement was struck between BCC’s Malcolm Webb and the school’s Head of Cricket John Whitcombe to open up the school’s Shenfield Road pitch for use by the Colt’s section.  The original artificial wicket has long since been replaced by a grass wicket and the club now also makes use of the school’s other squares on the Heseltines off Middleton Hall Lane.

We are indebted to the present Cricket Master, Brian Hardie, for his support since he took up the position at the school.  The school has provided a steady stream of good young cricketers and we in hope that by exposing those youngsters to the rigors of adult club cricket we are helping to mould them into mature young men and women of whom their school can be proud.

In recent years the school’s friendship with Graeme Walker, Brentwood CC and Smile Caribbean, has led to three memorable cricket tours of Barbados.  This year, twenty six junior cricketers (twenty five boys and one girl) enjoyed a fabulous eleven day tour of Barbados during the school’s Easter break.  All the players had played in the School’s Essex cup winning squads last summer and the tour was a developmental one designed to stretch their cricket and to broaden their minds.  After playing twelve matches in eleven days the players were all perfectly set up for the new season when it began in April.

The squad stayed in the exotically named Coconut Court Beach Hotel and used the magnificent Wanderers ground as a home base.  Most of the fixtures played were against the best club and school teams on the island including Barbados U13 champions Passage United, YMPC and the Wanderers.  Where two matches were played on the same day the squad of thirteen was chosen for each game and all thirteen played in those games.

Despite reports to the contrary the health of junior cricket in Barbados is robust and all the sides were very disciplined and exhibited skills that are not always so well developed in the UK.  All the matches were hard fought and most of the results were very close.  Star performances included Rishi Patel who scored a match winning 79 against Wanderers and Harry Levy who made a magnificent 124 not out against St’ Leonard’s.  However, such was the nature of the tour that everyone wad able to make their mark both on and off the field and the photo gallery on the school’s website shows how much enjoyment was had by all.

Simon Weale, tour leader and cricket coach at cricket coach at the School (and father of one of our U11 Colts, Jabez) said: “The tour was an outstanding success and achieved the aims which we had set out with from the start.  The players bonded very quickly against high quality opposition and Graeme’s knowledge of Bajan youth cricket ensured that the matches were keenly fought and well contested.  To top everything off the tour party were blessed with magnificent weather and we were welcomed warmly everywhere that we traveled.  Excursions such as the catamaran trip up the west coast were particularly enjoyable but little things such as walking through some very modest, but friendly neighborhoods to the Wanderers ground every morning were a real treat.  Words cannot really do justice to such as wonderful experience.  We look forward to welcoming our Bajan friends when they visit us in the future.”

From the Club’s point of view it is good that so many good cricketers continue to come out of Brentwood School, and we hope that that the ties between them and us remain strong, and to our mutual benefit for many years to come.

Click here to the Brentwood School website.

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