Open main menu



By W. J. Ford.

The public schools are naturally regarded as the forcing-beds for amateur cricketers. Occasionally a shining light appears on the horizon which, has acquired its brilliance in a smaller school; but these may be regarded as outside the usual cricket system, as splendid though rare visitors. This is only natural: the expense of thorough training, of the ground and its up-keep, to say nothing of the difficulty of finding in a small school enough good cricketers to prevent the game from being in the hands of two or three, practically excludes small schools from any possibility of competition with their more favoured compeers. Hence it is to the big public schools that the universities and counties mainly look for their "young blood." At one time, say twenty or twenty-five years ago, Eton, Harrow, and Rugby had almost a monopoly in the matter—the Oxford and Cambridge teams were a sort of pocketborough for cricketers trained at these schools; but of later days the other public schools have followed their system of training with such excellent results that county and university elevens are quite cosmopolitan, and there are few schools of any note that are not well represented in first-class cricket.

Further than this, the private schools that feed the public schools are recognising the advantages that the young boy gains by early and careful education in the great English game; and most of them now possess good, well-kept grounds, a professional bowler, and masters who are proficient in the game and anxious to help in the good work. Hence the really crucial time of a youngster's cricket education occurs when he is drafted from a private school into a public school. If he has shown any real promise, he will bring his credentials with him, and will probably find a place in his new school's kindergarten for the aspiring; but if his talent is latent, as is often the case with boys between thirteen and fifteen, he runs a great risk of being overlooked, and relegated to overcrowded house-nets and ill-managed games, in which existing size rules the roast, as compared with budding merit. As will be seen, however, in the accounts from the various public schools, every possible provision and supervision is now almost universally supplied for the youngster who shows the slightest signs of "form," and if he continues to improve with advancing years, his eventual promotion is a certainty, and his final success is dependent on nothing but his natural capacity as supplemented by art.

It may not be out of place here to suggest that "natural capacity" is sometimes cramped by too much stress being laid by instructors on recognised principles. Certain broad rules must certainly be laid down, and inculcated as primary and essential, but there is a growing tendency to stereotype "form," and to condemn every stroke that is not licensed by the definitions, axioms, and postulates of so exact a science as cricket is supposed to be. In other words, a boy's individual powers are forced to be subordinate to his instructor's ideal: he may have a distinct power for playing forward, or for pulling, or for playing back, or for on-driving, or for what not; yet, if he exercises his skill in pulling, say, on a ball which according to scientific theories should be cut, his instructor at once pulls him up for unorthodox cricket, and another W. W. Read may be lost to the world. The case was rather neatly put the other day by the head of a private school, who said, "My boys play capital cricket, but they don't get runs"; and it was a fact: the youngsters played back and played forward, they cut and they drove, they "glanced" and they "glided," generally for no runs, while their less scientific opponents hit straight balls to square-leg, scored "fourers" thereby, and won the match. The personal equation is one that is well worth solving, and it should never be forgotten by the cricket-tutor that the highest score wins the match, and that consequently a little mercy should be shown to the muscular if unscientific "smiter." It might be suggested that there is a tendency to introduce too much of the schoolroom into the cricket-ground, and to scathe a bad stroke as if it were a grievous error in "the comparison of adjectives" or the "irregular verbs," with the result that the budding "W. G." is treated much like the budding senior classic, till he thinks that much cricket is weariness of the flesh, and feels that he has only escaped from the frying-pan of school into the fire of cricket. In other words, his cricket is made so serious for him that his enthusiasm is checked.

One axiom should be borne in mind—viz., that while a hitter may be taught defensive play, a merely defensive player will seldom learn how to hit; and hence when a youngster first goes to his "net," he should have a dozen balls pitched up to him, under-hand, with instructions to hit each and every one of them as far as he can, regardless of whether he loses a wicket or not. This will certainly loosen his arms, teach him the real pleasure of a hit, and be admirable fielding practice for the rest of the eleven.

Bowling practice is generally starved, while batting practice is crammed, like the unhappy geese of Strasburg; and to this fact the dearth of amateur bowling may be largely attributed, though an important and not-to-be-forgotten fact is, that any boy who really can bowl is nearly always over-bowled from lack of coadjutors. If boys are to be trained to bowl, they must bowl at the nets as they would bowl in a match—i.e., in overs—instead of sending up a random ball according as it is returned to them by the batsman or the fags. It would be easy to provide four or five balls at each net, and to let each boy deliver his over in turn, under the supervision and instruction of a professional, who would tell him before the delivery of each ball what he should try to do with it—especially, in the case of youngsters, as regards pace, pitch, and direction, disregarding break till the other essentials are acquired. In the intervals of these overs the resting bowler could do a little fielding, and both he and the batsman would be gaining some practical experience of cricket under conditions approximating to those of a regular match. Moreover, it is a mistake to lay aside the small bat, small ball, and short pitch too soon, as for every purpose of the game—batting, bowling, and fielding—they are far superior to the full-sized article until a boy has come to something like fair strength. No boy, even at a public school, should consider it infra dignitatem to use implements which are really adapted to his powers, even though others are using "men's sizes."

Above all things is it important, as far as possible, to group boys according to their skill, and, partly, according to their size. Nothing is so demoralising to small boys who have some pretensions to play real cricket, as to have some big and old boy, strong in the arm, foisted on to their game. Without any cricketing ability he can, by sheer superiority of strength, make hay of their bowling, spoil their game, and knock all the heart out of them. The favourite system of arrangement by houses has something to be said for it: the same boys are perpetually playing together, and there is nothing like "house-feeling" to excite boys' keenness, and to get the last ounce out of them. Unfortunately, in such elevens the gradient from the top to the bottom is very steep, and the "tail," house-feeling apart, does not get very much fun out of the cricket per se. That is reserved for later years, when they have themselves become "swells."

In perusing the accounts of the systems and methods of the different schools, the reader who is interested in the subject—and what cricketer is not?—will be struck by the enormous amount of time and pains that is bestowed on the game. There are some spoil-sports who may grumble at the prominence given to athletics, forgetting the fact that organisation is the only power that can keep games going, and that compulsory games are the best, if not the only, antidote to the poison of "loafing" and its consequences. It is this fact that has induced the modern head-master to give wise and ample encouragement to athletics in their different forms, experience proving that only in isolated cases does work suffer. One cannot help being struck, however,' with the little system that, apparently, is applied to the teaching of bowling. Batting and fielding are well and thoroughly attended to, but the bowling, as far as the present writer can gather, is left to look after itself; and after all, bowling at a net, unless systematised, is sure to be very desultory work. It is easy for the coach to say, "Pitch them up more," "Keep them on the off-side," &c., &c.; but these things, in the case of boys, are more easily said than done, and in any case such advice does not convey much. The bowler of the long-hop or the leg-ball knows perfectly well that he has done what he ought not to have done, and will try to be a better bowler in future. The hints he requires as a lad he may find out for himself in later days, but his school will not reap the benefit of them. Hence, to the writer's way of thinking, there is a great future for the cricket of the school that will engage a purely bowling coach—a coach that will teach the bowlers, at the same time that he is giving the batsmen some real practice. Alfred Shaw would be ideal for such a post: his varieties of length, curve, pace, and especially break, would form an unequalled object-lesson for the young bowler, and for many an old bowler as well. In games, as well as at the nets, such coaching should go on, the umpire being the Mentor. Many boy-bowlers do not know, because they have never been told, such elementary facts as that a ball sent faster than usual a foot outside the off-stump, without any break, is very likely to trap a fine off-hitter who has been punishing slower balls on that side: short-slip or wicket-keeper will often get a chance. He does not realise that a ball with a higher curve, but a shorter length, looks exactly like the half-volley which has been hit three times running to the boundary; yet it does look like it, and many a man has fallen to it. Nor does a boy who has been taught, most properly, to "feed him up on the off-side," reflect that it is no good trying this dodge to a bad batsman, who goes on missing the ball. These are just samples of the "tips" the old hand could give the youngster, if he was there at his elbow for the purpose, while the batsman can safely be left to the care of some one behind the net. In such a chapter as this it is almost stereotyped to say a word about over-bowling, but so great and so dangerous is this tendency that it cannot be passed over in silence. It is largely due to the paucity of bowlers, so that in their multiplication and improvement lies the best of all remedies. As it is, in most lower games at least, there is generally one useful youngster who is allowed to pound away by the hour, day after day, till after a few weeks it is discovered that he no longer gets wickets, that he has lost the reputation with which he came from his private school—doubtless overbowled there too—and is, generally, a snare and a delusion. It may sound grandmotherly to say so, but a rest for a few overs—two would be enough every half-hour, would in the end get a great deal more success out of the average boy-bowler of thirteen to fifteen: after that age he will be stronger and better "set," and consequently capable of harder work.

Another excellent institution, which is by no means universal, is a series of regular matches with foreign teams for second elevens. Not only do such matches afford excellent training and practice, but they do a great deal to remove the "funk" which many men, and most boys, feel when they first find themselves confronted with a strange bowler or batsman—for there is bowler's "funk" as well as batsman's "funk."

With these prefatory remarks may be introduced a more or less detailed account of each school and its ways, its grounds and its methods. No pains has been spared to make each as accurate as possible, but the lists of prominent cricketers appended to each are necessarily not exhaustive. It may be interesting to reflect on the excellence of an eleven chosen from the following cricketers, who have not received any cricket training at one of the schools included in this category: W. G. Grace, A. E. Stoddart, W. Newham, G. Brann, W. L. Murdoch, G. L. Jessop, Sir Timothy O'Brien, L. C. V. Bathurst, S. M. J. Woods, K. S. Kanjitsinhji, W. W. Read, J. Douglas, R. N. Douglas, C. M. Wells, F. Mitchell, A. O. Jones, C. E. De Trafford, W, N. Roe, Rev W. Rashleigh, J. A. Dixon.


(Colours—Pink cap, sash, and blazer.)

Charterhouse cricket, owing to the migration of the school from London to Godalming about twenty years ago, has passed through two phases. In the London days her cricketers were at a great disadvantage both as to light and ground and numbers, and it was a wonder she had any good cricketers: to tell the truth, there were not very many. Fagging was the chief form of instruction, and there was no professional coach above the third class. The ground was rolled and watered by a posse of fags under the captain's eye, so no doubt the work was done thoroughly. Probably the best players of this period were F. G. Inge, C. E. Boyle, and C. E. B. Nepean. Even at Godalming the ground at first left much to be desired. It was large, it is true, and beautifully and centrally situated, but on the sandy, quickly-drying soil good wickets were impossible. Now, however, fresh turf has been laid down, and the wickets are splendid. There is also a splendid lower ground, with room for at least ten games and numerous nets.

Good as Charterhouse cricket has been and is, it might have been better. There has been a curious deficiency of good cricketers among the masters, but now that that deficiency has to some extent been remedied, the prospects are certainly bright. For the purposes of games and practice there are three regular elevens, in addition to the house-clubs, which, curiously enough, are formed by the amalgamation of several houses, each club electing its own captain and managing its own series of games. The three elevens arrange their own games on "Big Ground." In addition to this there is a nondescript club, rejoicing in the name of "The Maniacs," which plays matches at and near Charterhouse, while small boys with capital can by the expenditure of sixpence secure half an hour's practice with a professional at certain nets known as "sixpennies."

The school matches are with Westminster and Wellington, the latter a one-day fixture. Other clubs that visit Charterhouse are I Zingari, the Butterflies, and the Free Foresters.

The state of the score in the Wellington matches is—Charterhouse 9 wins, 8 losses, i draw. In the Westminster matches Charterhouse has won 19, lost 12, and 3 have been drawn.

The best-known Carthusian cricketers of the present day are C. W. Wright, E. C. Streatfield, C. A. Smith, G. O. Smith, F. L. Fane, Capt. E. G. Wynyard, E. O. Powell.


(Colours—Black coat, bound with cerise; sash to match; cap quartered in cerise and black.)

Cheltenham cricket has of late years been of a very high class, and it is unfortunate that so many of the best cricketers sent out from the school have so little opportunity of devoting themselves to the game in after-years. Every facility is afforded to the Cheltenham boys as far as their ground is concerned, as the turf is of the best, and high scoring is the rule; indeed so good is the ground that the county of Gloucestershire plays a week's cricket there every summer. The ground, it may be added, is flanked by the school gymnasium, racquet-courts, and workshops, so that many forms of recreation are to be found in a very small area. On the main ground (17 acres) provision is made for all school games and the first teams of every house, while there are two other grounds for the lower elevens, and a special ground with a special professional for the junior department. Two professionals are told off for the first eleven, and another for the second. Each house has also its separate nets, and on wholeschool days either house-games or net-practice are compulsory on all. Fielding practice is indulged in three times a-week by the first and second school elevens and by most of the houses. Promising small boys—colts who have been well trained at private schools—have a professional of their own to keep them up to the mark. On half-holidays when there is no foreign match, the first and second elevens have a "College Pick-up," aided and abetted by available masters and professionals; while the houses play League matches among themselves, with a time limit, so that the application of the closure and scoring against time form a specially interesting feature of the contests. Apart from these games is a series of regular house-matches, each house putting its best team into the field, whereas in the League games the exigencies of the "College Pick-up" require the presence of the best players. It should be added that the League games are played between first, second, and third elevens from the different houses, and that the ground is close and accessible to all the houses, a very important point. Further than this, Cheltenham is fortunate in having a number of cricketers among its masters; and though there is boating within reasonable reach, the river does not attract too many boys away from the cricket-field.

The chief matches are played against the Incogniti, Liverpool, and some Oxford colleges; while no less than three schools are encountered—Marlborough, Clifton, and Haileybury. The first two are home and home matches, so that there is always one school-match at home and one away; while the Haileybury match, which has produced some singularly close results during the four years in which it has been played, takes place at Lord's immediately after the Rugby and Marlborough match in early August or late July. Against Marlborough Cheltenham has won 16 matches, lost 16, and 10 have been drawn. Against Clifton the score is 7 to 12 (7 drawn) in favour of Clifton. With Haileybury 1 match has been won and 3 drawn.

The second eleven has also a regular series of four matches, which are found invaluable as recruiting-grounds.

Among well-known Cheltonians may be mentioned G. Strachan, Sir R. T. Reid, A. T. Kemble, H. V, Page, G. N. Wyatt, E. I. M. Barrett, C. E. Horner, F. H. B. Champain, Captain A. H. Luard, Col. H. W. Renny-Tailyour, M. Kempson, C. Filgate.

1856. Cheltenham 77 runs. 1866. Drawn
1857. " 4 wickets 1867. "
1858. " 6 " 1868. Cheltenham 10 wickets
1859. Marlborough 32 runs. 1869. Marlborough an innings and 12 runs.
1860. Drawn.
1861. Cheltenham 7 wickets. 1870. Cheltenham 6 wickets.
1862. Drawn. 1871. " 7 "
1863. Cheltenham 36 runs. 1872. Marlborough 7 "
1864. Drawn. 1873. " 84 runs.
1865. Marlborough. 10 wickets. 1874. Cheltenham 233 "
1875. Drawn 1886. Cheltenham 5 wickets.
1876. Marlborough 6 wickets 1887. " 7 "
1877. " an innings and 1888. " an inns. and 71 runs.
170 runs 1889. Marlborough 9 wickets
1878. " 6 wickets 1890. " 39 runs
1879. " 15 runs 1891. Drawn.
1880. Drawn. 1892. Marlborough 7 wickets.
1881. Cheltenham 4 wickets 1893. " 7 "
1882. Marlborough 70 runs 1894. Cheltenham an inns and 34 runs
1883. " an inns. and 102 runs. 1895. " 102 runs
1884. Drawn 1896. 8 wickets
1885. " 1897. Marlborough 9 "
1893. Drawn 1895. Drawn
1894. Cheltenham 1 run 1896. "


(Colours— White blazer trimmed with blue, and blue monogram on pocket; dark-blue cap and sash, with white monogram.)

Those who have had the pleasure of playing on the Clifton College ground can testify to the strength of their adversaries and the excellence of the wicket. The ground suffers somewhat from the inevitable football of the winter months, but careful management enables school-matches—to say nothing of county-matches—to be played on Big-Side. This part forms a plateau, falling away on two sides, and down these slopes—there are no boundaries except in county-matches—very big hits, with proportionate runs, may be made. At one end of the ground are the college buildings, and on the fourth side a row of trees and a road. The whole ground is managed by a mixed committee of masters and boys, but for the purposes of cricket certain recognised parts are assigned by the captain to certain "forms" for their "form-matches," of which more hereafter, and to the different houses for their nets. He also arranges for the practice at the professionals' nets; and naturally it is chiefly the eleven and twenty-two that are sent there, though any promising cricketer who comes under his notice gets his chance, as well as those who have already won their "colours." There are about three hours set aside for practice on whole-school days, some of which are given to match-practice, all fielding while two bat for a given time to the bowling of the professionals. On half-holidays there is a "Big-Side" game for the best players, provided there is no foreign match, while the rest of the school play "form-matches," arranged as far as is practicable so as to bring boys of similar size and age together. In addition to these are house "pick-ups" of an evening, besides practice at the house-nets; but the system seems to lack real method, and while form-matches excite no great keenness, there is also a tendency to overcrowd the house-nets. Nor is there any special and regular accommodation for "colts," though occasionally a special net, under the supervision of masters, has been set aside for the purpose. Still, whether the system is good or not, and whether all the best talent is brought to the fore or not, Clifton has produced, and does produce, so many sterling players that she can hold up her head among the best. The only question is whether, with her large numbers and fine ground, she might not hold it still higher as the result of more complete organisation.

The chief match of the year is with Cheltenham, and Clifton still holds a commanding lead. The match with Sherborne was abandoned in 1887, at which time Clifton had won 14 and lost 4, 3 being drawn. Other matches are with Liverpool, the Incogniti, Clifton Club, and the M.C.C.

Among the names of famous Cliftonians stand out E. F. S. Tylecote, H. G. Tylecote, W. H. Brain, J. Hi Brain, H. Fowler, S. H. Evershed, T. W, Lang, C. L. Townsend, A. H. Evans, K. J. Key, E. Smith, W. Fairbanks, C. W. Boyle. The "Old Cliftonian Club" plays a series of matches in August.

The Jubilee Book of Cricket 0307.jpg
Ranji 1897 page 287 K. J. Key cutting.jpg


From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.


(Colours—Light-blue cap and sash; white blazer. )

No one who has studied the subject of cricket can fail to notice what a very large number of our best amateurs have received their education at Eton. This may partly be due to the fact that many of the boys belong to the leisured class, and have consequently plenty of time to devote to the game after leaving school, while the less fortunate have to be earning their living, and have no spare time on their hands. Indeed, without leisure and money—the two things imply each other—a young man cannot pursue a game which makes a large demand on purse and time. No doubt, too, the élan of being in the eleven, and of appearing at Lord's before the eyes of thousands, is a very tempting reward for the perseverance and care necessary before excellence can be attained. It is needless to say that every attention is paid to the training of those who have shown real promise; but an examination of the cricket arrangements tempts the outsider to think that there must be many promising cricketers who are not unearthed, and that only the special geniuses force their way to the surface. As with most schools, there was once a bitter cry of "want of space"; but with the recent acquisition of land, it is hoped that not only will there be more room for cricket, but also that it will not be necessary to play football on the cricket-grounds during the winter months. This unavoidable practice has militated sadly against the preparation of good wickets, both for games and for practice.

The school is divided for cricket purposes into clubs, much as for work purposes into blocks, each club consisting of boys who are of about the same age and standing in the school. These clubs are "Sixpenny," "Upper Sixpenny," "Lower Club,"

"Middle Club," and "Upper Club," and the average boy will spend about one season in each, though it should be noted that "Upper Club" is selected by merit alone, and contains, or is supposed to contain, all the developed talent of the school. Each club is managed by two "keepers," appointed by the captain of the eleven, and when they are keen and efficient, the first game of each club is sure to be well managed and seriously conducted; and if the "keepers" make themselves properly acquainted with the abilities of the junior members of their respective clubs, rising talent is duly rewarded by promotion to the upper game. fortunately this is not always the case, and the lower games become rather "scratch" in their nature, till a certain number of would-be cricketers take to boating in despair. Certainly a loosely-managed game, on rough, unwatered wickets is not palatable, especially to boys who at their private schools have been accustomed to well-kept grounds and regular coaching. When a boy, however, has won his way to "Upper Club," he is in a kind of minor paradise. Most careful pains are taken with the promising colt; he is taught every department of the game, and he has one of the most beautiful and picturesque grounds in England to play on, its only drawback being the rather difficult light, due to the ring of trees which engirdles the ground. Football is, of course, absolutely tabooed on this sacred area. Four professionals are at hand to bowl and coach, under the direct supervision of that finest of batsmen, R. A. H. Mitchell. Hence, if the arrangements for the younger cricketers seem rather defective, those for the seniors are fairly perfect; and if anything could prove their perfection, it would be the number of good cricketers and good elevens that Eton has sent out from her oft-quoted "Playing-Fields."

Another great advantage, which Eton shares with Harrow, is its proximity to London, enabling the captains of visiting sides to secure a really first-class eleven to meet the school in its trial-matches. Nothing is so salutary for boys' cricket as to witness good cricket and watch good cricketers, especially as defeat is no dishonour, and victory doubly encouraging. Of course the match with Harrow is the great event of the year, and to take part in that match is the highest distinction which the Eton cricketer covets or can attain; but little less enthusiasm is shown over the Winchester match, which is played at Eton and Winchester alternately, and is attended, even when played away from home, by a large number of the school. The other chief fixtures are with I Zingari, the Quidnuncs, the Free Foresters, the Eton Ramblers, and the M.C.C.; and among the many great cricketers whom Eton has sent forth may be mentioned the names of R. A. H. Mitchell, F. M. Buckland, Hon. Ivo Bligh, J. E. K. Studd, G. B. Studd, C. T. Studd, Hon. E. Lyttelton, Hon. A Lyttelton (and many other Lytteltons), H. Philipson, A. W. Ridley, S. E. Butler, Lord Harris, Lord Hawke, G. H. Longman, A. S. Tabor, F. Marchant, C. J. Ottaway, C. I. Thornton, H. B. Chinnery, C. C. Pilkington, C. P. Foley, H. W. Bainbridge, F. H. E. Cunliffe, &c., &c.

The Jubilee Book of Cricket 0311.jpg


(Colours—White flannel blazer edged with magenta, school arms on pocket; white cap with magenta peak and magenta stripes.)

Haileybury has in all four grounds, on a stiff clay soil, which after a spell of fine weather produces, as might be expected, very hard and fast wickets. One of these grounds, known as "Big-Side," is reserved for, roughly speaking, the twenty-two best cricketers, while the other three are known collectively as "Little-Side," and give accommodation for twelve games every afternoon. The general system of the games is by "Dormitories," corresponding to the "Houses" of schools which are not worked on the hostel system, and on Tuesday afternoons the first elevens meet in a series of matches, played on the "knock-out" system. On Thursdays the school eleven plays a practice game against the next seven or eight, supplemented by masters and professionals, and Saturdays are reserved for foreign matches.

About thirty of the best youngsters are formed into a "Colts' Club," and are carefully selected at the beginning of term. They have special nets and a special professional, and play Saturday games among themselves; on other days they take part in the "Little-Side" dormitory matches, which are arranged on the League system for first, second, and third elevens, a win for the first eleven counting as four marks, for the second eleven as two marks, and for the third as one, the house which aggregates the highest total winning the "Little-Side" Cricket Cup.

The coaching for the colts and the players on "Big-Side" is undertaken by several masters as well as the professionals; and as some two and a half hours are set apart daily for purposes of practice, there is no lack of opportunity, besides which the Thursday game is regarded as a good occasion for coaching in fielding and the general conduct of the game. The selection of the school eleven is in the hands of the old "colours"; but in general details the captain is paramount, backed up by the advice and help of the masters who interest themselves in the game. All disputes and questions are settled by the "Committee of-Games."

The chief match is played at Lord's against Cheltenham College in the same week as the Rugby-Marlborough fixture. Hitherto four matches have been played, of which Cheltenham has won one, and three have been drawn; but the closeness of the fights has been really remarkable, and as the Cheltenham cricket of late years has been of a very high standard, the fact of these close finishes bears larger testimony to the skill as well as the nerve of the Haileybury players, though from various circumstances it is seldom that they come prominently before the public after they have left school. For results of matches with Uppingham and Wellington see under those schools.


(Colours—White coat with brass buttons stamped with the school arms; dark blue sash; dark-blue and white cap, in alternate three-quarter-inch stripes.)
Harrow cricket is not particularly blessed in its surroundings. The school buildings are most healthily perched on a hill, and at the foot thereof are its playing-fields, which form a sort of reservoir to receive the drainage of the hill aforesaid. When to this natural humidity is added the misfortune of a clayey, clinging soil, it is not surprising that on the "Upper Ground" averages rule small and bowlers prosper. Luckily for Harrow men, the doctrine of averages does not apply to the ability of cricketers, and, as Harrow's opponents have often discovered, the boy who can score 20 on "Upper Ground" is eminently likely to score 50 on a more congenial locality. But if Harrow is unfortunate in the nature of her soil, she is blest in the nature of her sons; for there is no school which can command, a larger or more patriotic army of "old boys," ready and anxious to come down and help in the task of training those who are likely to do good service in the classic encounter at Lord's. Of late years, thanks to assiduous care and attention, the condition of the turf has improved, and whereas Harrow men were at one time noted for their careful, almost painfully cramped, style of batting, they now play cricket as free and fine as any of their compeers. In face of these facts, it is curious and interesting to note that in the days of inferior grounds and wickets Harrow well held her own against her Eton rivals on a ground like Lord's, which especially demands a free and commanding style of play, while of late Eton has had no advantage. Harrow probably owes more to her "old boys" than any other school: in fact, to speak of Harrow cricket ten or twenty years ago was practically to speak of Lord Bessborough and the late R. (better known as "Bob") Grimston, both of whom were unremitting in the time and pains they devoted to training Harrovians. Their places are now well filled by L. D. Walker, A. J. Webbe, and other old Harrovians. Of Ponsonby and Grimston it may fairly be said that the great object of their existence was to see Harrow beat Eton at Lord's, and it was to this end that their training was directed. Their difficulty was the dissimilarity between Lord's and "Upper Ground." To train boys on one class of ground so as to make them proficient on another was no easy task, and the difficulty was met by adopting a style of play which, though not graceful to look at, was equally effective on either venue. It is only fair to add, that though there was a certain amount of similarity to be seen in all Harrow batsmen, yet individual talent was always allowed to shape its own course, provided it was consistent with the primary and fundamental rules of the game. The inculcation of a particular and not very attractive style was only insisted on when the "coachee" showed no special individuality; but all Harrow boys used to be famous for
Ranji 1897 page 293 F. S. Jackson forcing ball to leg.jpg


From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.

their leg-hitting, in the days, when such a stroke was common, and the "Harrow drive" towards extra-cover-point was at one time peculiar to the school.

Besides the match with Eton the following are the most important fixtures, and in most cases the elevens are of a really first-class type. Thus the Harlequins and Quidnuncs are practi: cally a University side, or its equal; the Free Foresters and I Zingari are but little inferior; the Old Harrovians may be of immeasurable power; and the M.C.C. team is always carefully made up with a view to strength. When, in addition to this, the half-holiday games often include Old Harrovians of the highest ability, it will be seen that those who represent the school at Lord's have already undergone a really fiery ordeal. At one time Harrow used to meet Winchester at Lord's—in fact these schools, with Eton, played a sort of tournament, lasting a week, but this has long been discontinued.

Among famous Harrovians may be mentioned C. F. Buller, A. C. MacLaren, A. J. Webbe, V. E. Walker, R. D. Walker, I. D. Walker, F. C. Cobden, W. H. Patterson, F. E. R. Fryer, A. K. Watson, W. H. Hadow, E. M. Hadow, P. H. J. Henery, H. T. Hewitt, A. N. Hornby, F. S. Jackson, M. C. Kemp, W. B. Money, J. H. Stogdon.

The Jubilee Book of Cricket 0315.jpg
Ranji 1897 page 295 H. T. Hewett.jpg


From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.

The Jubilee Book of Cricket 0317.jpg

Seventy-two matches have been played, of which Eton has won 28, Harrow 29, and 15 have been drawn. This is the generally published record, but Harrow men object very strongly to the game in 1805 being treated as a regular contest between the two schools, contending that it is no more correct to count that than the fixture in 1857 for boys under twenty, which has been rejected.


(Colours—Dark blue blazer and cap, trimmed with blue, puce, and fawn-coloured ribbon.)

No ground is more conveniently situated for those who have to use it than the ground on which the Malvernians disport themselves. It forms the interior of a huge quadrangle, surrounded on two sides by the College boarding-houses, and on a third by the College buildings, while on the fourth side are the junior grounds. The senior ground, and indeed the others, are formed terrace-fashion on what used to be rather a severe slope, at least for the purposes of cricket. As it is, the main ground is somewhat circumscribed in dimensions, and a big hit is sure to pass the border; but the wicket is in every way admirable, and the surroundings delightful. It may be added that the edge of the terrace is reckoned a boundary, so that hits for seven or eight, common on the similar ground at Marlborough, are impossible.

The arrangements for the promotion and encouragement of the game are as follows. Cricket is compulsory throughout the school except for the Sixth Form and prefects. The whole school is divided into twelve clubs, each under the management of a captain specially selected and appointed at the beginning of the season, and responsible for discipline and general management. With a view to this he is provided with a book, periodically inspected by the school captain and a master, registering the attendance of members, and no one is excused except on medical grounds. Each club has its own matches on holidays, and its own nets on other days. The Lower School is "fagged" in turn for fielding at the senior nets. The most important club, with a view to the future, is the "Colts' Club," consisting of all the promising youngsters who are "spotted" early, or who improve sufficiently as the term wears on to merit promotion. Special care is taken that they have good wickets for practice and games; and another fact deserves observation, and perhaps imitation—viz., that their pitch is 20 yards long instead of the regulation 22. Great attention is paid to their coaching, and to belong to the "Colts' Club" is a highly-prized honour, leading on, as in nine cases out of ten it does, to the school eleven.

In the afternoon games of the Senior Club masters and professionals take part, and as every batsman who makes 30 runs has then to retire, each side probably has a full innings every afternoon. The eleven and the aspirants to the eleven have regular fielding-practice, and "house-fielding" is also compulsory, with excellent results. It should be added that the bulk of the coaching is done by the masters, and that really good bowlers are secured for short spells of service in addition to the regular professionals.

Malvern has been unlucky in fixtures with other schools, Repton being the only school which has kept up a regular engagement. Shrewsbury, Rossall, and Sherborne have all been played at different times; but for various reasons, mainly in connection with distance, these have been discontinued. In the contests with Repton, Malvern has only won eight matches to fifteen, though the difference would be still larger but for the increased effectiveness of Malvern cricket during the last few years.

Other fixtures are with Worcestershire, Free Foresters, the M.C.C., the Quidnuncs, and Herefordshire.

The best-known Malvern cricketers are A. H. Stratford, Captain A. Newnham, C. J. Burnup, H. H. Marriott, P. H. Latham, and the three famous Fosters—H. K., W. L., and R. E. As the school is comparatively young, the shortness of the list is not surprising.


(Colours—Dark-blue blazer, edged with white ribbon; cap, dark-bhie, piped with white; dark-blue sash with white stripe.)

Marlborough possesses for its cricket a ground which is in some respects unique—the side of a piece of downland, possessing a fairly steep slope. The upper part of this slope is devoted, by a species of paradox, to the games of the Lower School, quite youngsters, which are organised and supervised by the master of the Lower School. The next part of the slope has been quarried out into a flat and level terrace, with a bank on the upper side and a fall on the lower side, both of considerable steepness. This level area is the scene of the school matches and the upper games. The rest of the school games are played underneath the terrace, on a ground that, from a cricket point of view, slopes considerably, and is anything but beneficial to the junior cricket. The total acreage is large—i.e., it can accommodate numerous games, though a little "sandwiching" is necessary. On the first ground—alias "The Eleven"—no boundaries are recognised, except the pavilion, and the batsman finds, as he stands on the wicket, a bank 10 feet high on one side, and enormous possibilities on the other three. Hits for 6, 7, or 8 runs are by no means uncommon, and the "record" is put at 13; but to discount this, a hit against the bank on the other side never realises more than 2. The turf is inclined to be coarse, and requires very careful and delicate treatment; but on the whole there is little to complain of, and the light is quite perfect, especially at the eastern wicket, as the bowler's arm comes from the line of the sky, so high is the elevation of the ground. For throwing up the ball, when hit over the terrace, the boys have a regular system of telegraphy, and the unsuspicious stranger has frequently been run out by a ball thrown up by an unseen and unsuspected fieldsman, but in inter-school matches the bank is a boundary.

The selection and management of the eleven are in the hands of the captain absolutely, though naturally he looks to the advice of masters and others, and he has the main control of cricket arrangements generally.

The matches for "Cock-House" are played on the "knockout" principle, and are always settled by the middle of June, contrary to the practice of most schools; but the theory is probably sound, that slogging away in house-matches at weak bowling is not beneficial to batsmen when the supreme match of the year comes in the beginning of the holidays. Besides the school eleveri there is a second eleven, with matches and colours of its own, and regular practice is provided for all these on the first ground. The rest of the cricket is parcelled out by houses, each house having a portion of the large ground assigned to it, and playing what may be called Upper and Lower House matches—quite distinct from "Cock-House" matches—on the League system. Each house has also its own nets, and there is one professional for promising colts. Cricket-fagging is a regular institution, and also house-fielding. On half-holidays, when there is no foreign match, either a scratch game is arranged in which professionals and masters take part, or else there is a sort of match-practice, in which the professionals bowl at either end, and successive pairs of batsmen have a fixed time each. These games are otherwise played under strict match conditions, and are known as "extra lessons." Cricket, it may be added, is compulsory throughout the school on half-holidays. The net-practice is practically confined to whole-school days. The chief matches are with the Liverpool C.C., Wiltshire Club and Ground, Old Fellows; with Cheltenham, home and home in alternate years; and with Rugby at Lord's at the beginning of the holidays. As regards Cheltenham, Marlborough is now level, 16 matches to either school. For full results see under Cheltenham and Rugby.

Of famous Marlburians perhaps the most famous are S. C. Voules, A. G. Steel, F. M. Lucas, S. A. P. Kitcat, W. G. Druce, N. F. Druce, Rev. A. P. Wickham, A. J. L. Hill, F. W. Quinton, Rev. F. Meyrick-Jones, C. P. Wilson, Captain W. C. Hedley, J. B. Challen, J. B. Wood.


(Colours—Dark-blue blazer bound with yellow, and school crest on pocket; cap and sash to match. )

Repton, for a school of its size, has been remarkably lucky in having produced a very fair number of good cricketers, and that though the place has no particular advantages, beyond the care and pains bestowed on coaching and practice by the cricketing masters. The chief ground is a long and narrow oblong on which four or five games can be played at once, with a little inevitable interlacing, such as is common everywhere. For the lower games there are subsidiary grounds. The selection and management of the school eleven are entirely in the captain's hands, though he is largely guided by the advice of masters and professionals. The other games, the control of promotion to them, &c., are managed by a mixed committee of boys and masters. On whole-school days about three hours are set aside for the netpractice of the upper boys, while for the juniors a system of interhouse matches is arranged, which causes plenty of keen competition. Special hours are also reserved for the practice of the juniors.

On half-holidays there are regular games, arranged by clubs or "grounds," for all boys, age and size being the standards of selection; consequently every boy, or nearly every boy, has two classes of game, proceeding on alternate days, in addition to regular practice at the nets. The standard of the out-matches is also very high, as outsiders have found that a weak side is liable to have to endure hardness at the hands of Reptonians; but the distance from London prevents many crack teams—such as the I Zingari, Quidnuncs, or Harlequins turn out—from visiting the school. The principal event of the cricket year is the annual match, played at either school alternately, with Uppingham, which has now been running for some thirty years, with varying results. Next to this is the Malvern match: this also is a home-and-homc game, so that every year there is one school-match played at Repton and one played away. Against Malvern, Repton has a good record of 15 wins to 9 losses; but of latter years Malvern has made such great strides that the balance, once very large, has been greatly reduced. The other important matches are with the Derbyshire Friars, Burton-on-Trent (which often includes several of the Derbyshire County Eleven), and the M.C.C. Matches are also arranged for the second eleven. The position of the scores of the Uppingham match is as follows: Repton has won 8 matches, Uppingham 10, and no less than 11 have been drawn.

The best-known Repton cricketers are L. C. H. Palairet, R. C. N. Palairet, C. B. Fry, W. J. Ford, A. F. J. Ford, F. G. J. Ford, A. H. J. Cochrane, A. Eccles, C. Tillard, A. C. S. Glover, W. T. Graburn, H. B. Steel.

Ranji 1897 page 301 L. C. H. Palairet cutting.jpg


From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.

The Jubilee Book of Cricket 0323.jpg


(Colours—Dark-blue blazer, bound with white; dark-blue cap, with vertical white stripes, and sash to correspond.)

The Rossall ground, which is close to the "sounding sea," covers about 14 acres. It has a clay subsoil, is well drained, and fairly fast, while good wickets are always to be found on it. The most important body, from a cricket point of view, is the Upper Club, to which about twenty of the best cricketers belong, selected by the captain of the eleven. These have regular hours of net-practice and fielding on whole-school days, with games or foreign matches on holidays and half-holidays. The rest of the school plays by houses—there are eight houses—on the League system, members of the Upper Club being excluded, though in the Cock-House matches, on the "knock-out" principle, every house plays its full available strength. It is needless to add that the cricket-loving masters—and Rossall has many—assist the regular professional in coaching.

Without being a great cricketing centre, Rossall has produced its fair share of great cricketers, and few schools can boast of a boy like F. W. Wright, who in 1862 played for North v. South, while still at school, and scored 49 runs. Nor is the following story inappropriate. Some time ago the Fleetwood garrison was engaged for a match with the school, and being weak in bowling, had secured the services of Watson, the Lancashire professional, then in his finest form, to support them. That his name might not frighten the boys out, he played as Corporal Jinks, with the result that one boy scored over 200 runs, and the garrison never got an innings!

Among great Rossallian cricketers may be mentioned, in addition to F. W. Wright, W. Townshend, G. Savile, Rev. V. Royle, P. H. Morton, Rev. W. H. Bathez, F. A. Phillips, A. B. Rowley, E. B. Rowley.

The chief matches are with Liverpool, Preston, and M.C.C.; the schools encountered are Loretto and Shrewsbury. In the inter-school matches the scores are as follows: Against Loretto, Rossall has won 4 matches and lost 4—6 being drawn. Against Shrewsbury, Rossall has won 6 and lost 2—3 being drawn. With Malvern (1886-1891), Rossall has won 4 and lost 2: the match is now discontinued.


(Colours—Light-blue shirt and cap; white blazer, trimmed with light blue.)

Few schools can point to finer cricketing records than the big Midland school, though, curiously enough, there are very few Rugby men who, at the time of writing, are playing in first-class cricket. For all that, the Rugby teams are still tough customers, and are generally strong throughout. "Big-Side," where the school-matches are played, is perhaps a little small; but it is a picturesque ground, and provides very good wickets, which, however, are apt to be fiery in dry weather. The row of beautiful elms which separated "Big-Side" from the rest of the ground suffered so severely in a recent gale that it is hardly a row any longer; but from a cricketer's point of view the loss is not great. "Big-Side" is the extreme end of a long oblong, the rest of which is devoted to cricket, and, unfortunately, to football as well, with the result that for the junior games the wickets are apt to be rough, which is a genuine misfortune, though common to most schools. Adequate space for both games is, in almost every case, a luxury too expensive for attainment.

The system of training and selection is as follows: Likely youngsters are carefully "spotted" by the cricket-loving masters, and are drafted into the so-called "Young Guard," to which special nets are assigned and a steady old professional, while a watch is kept on their style and improvement. After about a couple of years in the "Young Guard" the youngster gets less professional training, but is under more immediate supervision, until he is promoted to the eleven or twenty-two, at whose nets special professionals and special coaching are provided. Each house has also its own nets for less promising aspirants. Most of the games are conducted on the house system, between the senior and junior elevens, or else each house arranges elevens of its own. The only school-game is played on "Big-Side," though two such games often take place simultaneously; but of course these games have to be postponed on the occasion of a school-match. The most important fixtures at Rugby are those with the M.C.C., the Foresters, Butterflies, and Old Rugbeians, the final match being played at Lord's against Marlborough. Hitherto no "out-matches"—the Marlborough match comes in the holidays—have been played, though in honour of the Jubilee year a match, which is not to be annual, was played with Uppingham. It always seems unfortunate, if only for the purposes of comparison, that the big schools play, in many cases, so few inter-school matches.

Here are some names of great Rugby cricketers: D. Buchanan, W. Yardley, B. Pauncefote, F. W. Tobin, C. K. Francis, C. F. H. Leslie, E. T. Hirst, T. S. Pearson, P. F. Warner, G. F. Vernon, W. O. Moberley.

The Jubilee Book of Cricket 0325.jpg


(Colours—Blue blazer trimmed with gold, and school arms on pocket; blue cap piped with gold. )

Few schools, probably no schools, have a better ground than Sherborne, so ample is its space and so perfect its wickets. It is somewhat surprising, therefore, that more good cricketers have not been produced by the school; but it may be remembered that internal troubles have militated against its progress in every way, and that the process of recovery is slow. Excellent as the ground is, it possesses one disadvantage—it is some distance from the school-buildings and houses; and only those who have a knowledge of schoolboys and their ways know how much time is wasted by them when they have some distance to go. Still, as said before, the ground, when once it is reached, is second to none.

The arrangements for practice are as follows: There are three distinct sets of nets used on whole-school days, one for the first eleven and one for the second eleven, while the third is apportioned among the houses. For the general conduct of the first two sets the captain of the eleven is responsible, and he is supported by the school professional and his assistant bowlers, as well as by those masters who are enthusiastic and skilful cricketers. The house-nets are managed by the various captains of houses, but in all points the captain of the eleven is, very properly, supreme, and owes allegiance to none save the Headmaster. The treasurer, it may be added, is always a master. On half-holidays there is an upper game and a lower game, as well as house games, and a "pick-up" is arranged for all those who are not posted for any of these, so that every one, however small and unskilful, has a chance of amusing and improving himself. At one time Sherborne regularly encountered Clifton; but the latter school, owing to its superior numbers, carried too many guns for the Dorsetshire boys, and the match was abandoned. At present Bradfield College and St Paul's School are met, one at home and the other away. Besides these, the Incogniti and M.C.C. visit Sherborne yearly, and there is a goodly list of matches with more local sides. Among the better known Sherburnians are—W. H. Game, A. F. E. Forman, E. Wallington, F. E. Lacey, E. W. Bastard, E. A. Nepean, A. O. Whiting, Capt. C. G. Barton, A. W. F. Rutty.


(Colours— White flannel cnp and blazer, trimmed with blue; blue sash.)

Uppingham has taught the cricket world one thing—the value of a really first-class coach and instructor. This is no place to discuss the character of the late H. H. Stephenson, who was as fine a man as he was a cricketer, but one may be allowed to say that his high character lent an efficiency and weight to his high cricketing abilities, practical and theoretical, which it would be hard to equal. At any rate, on his arrival Uppingham cricket, already of a high class, sprang at once to the highest class, and the school may well be grateful to the foresight of its first great cricketer, C. E. Green, who enabled it to secure the services of so valuable an instructor.

Uppingham is blessed in its grounds—two enclosures on which some fifteen games can be played simultaneously, with a little dovetailing. The Upper ground is reserved exclusively for cricket, and winter games are not allowed to desecrate the light soil, well drained and quickly drying, on which the Upper games and school-matches are played. As a matter of space, all the school can be playing cricket at once. On the Upper ground three games take place every half-holiday, when there is no foreign match, and the members of these games can also find excellent practice-wickets there. On the Lower ground the games are arranged strictly according to cricket merit, irrespective of houses or position in the school. There are house-games, as opposed to the regular house-matches, on whole-school days.

As to coaching, Stephenson's principle was that "net-practice gets rid of faults, but an innings in a game was the highroad to learning cricket," and he used to coach assiduously from his post as umpire during these games. Bowlers and possible wicket-keepers were trained at first without a batsman, and with excellent results. His system is still being pursued, and in addition to this there is plenty of house-practice, with coaching and inspection by masters, so that a promising "colt" can hardly evade observation. Cricket, by the way, is not compulsory by the school rules, but the keenness of house-competitions makes it practically obligatory. Two masters have a general superintendence of the cricket, and as all elevens—Upper, Middle, and Lower, six in each—are decided by sheer merit, competition is vigorous and the games full of life and reality. Add to this the element of house-feeling, and it is not hard to understand why Uppingham cricket is, has been, and probably will be, a great reality in the cricket world. Certainly the system reads as if it were little short of perfection.

The chief school-match is against Repton, and, being now an old institution, is eagerly anticipated and keenly fought. The balance of power has of late been with Uppingham, but in earlier years Repton had the best of it: the score now stands Repton 8 wins, Uppingham 10 wins, drawn 11. Against Haileybury, Uppingham has been generally victorious, as witness the score: Uppingham 13 wins, Haileybury 3 wins, drawn 1. The other chief matches are against the Quidnuncs, Incogniti, and Warwickshire Gentlemen.

The "Old Boys'" Club, the Uppingham Rovers, carefully nursed and fostered by C. E. Green, is deservedly famous for the powerful eleven it can put into the field.

Here follow a few names of Uppingham's most famous sons: C. E. Green, J. G. Beevor, A. P. Lucas, D. Q. Steel, G. MacGregor, W. S. Patterson, S. S. Schultz, W. M'G. Hemingway, H. Rotherham, G. R. Bardswell, C. E. M. Wilson, S. Christopherson, F. B. Whitfeld, H. T. Luddington, J. A. Turner, J. H. M. Hare, J. F. Whitwell, C. C. Stone, W. F. Whitwell.

The Jubilee Book of Cricket 0328.jpg



(Colours—Light-blue cap, piped with yellow; light-blue blazer and sash, trimmed with yellow ribbon.)

For size and position and convenience of access, the Wellington ground yields place probably to none; and as it falls away slightly from the centre, big hits are many on the hard though sandy soil. A "first game" is played on half-holidays among the presumably best cricketers, when there is no foreign match, and the games of the next series are known as "Belows." Here some fifteen sides, representing as many houses or dormitories, play for a challenge cup on the county championship system once or twice a-week, and the captain of the eleven keeps his eyes open for rising talent and likely material. A second game, which has long been existing, is now being abolished by way of experiment, it being found that a series of scratch games gets very monotonous for those who are not actually playing for their colours. "Belows" are played whenever there is a "first game." For other boys games are arranged, known as "Second Belows." The selection of the elevens, of which there are three, is left to the captain, who promotes from time to time, publishing and posting a final list at the end of term. The "Cock-House" matches are played on the "bumping" system, as follows: the houses start in the order of the previous year, last year's cockhouse having a bye first week. No. 2 playing No. 3, No. 4 playing No. 5, and so on. Those who win go up a place. In the second week the bottom house does not play, but No. i plays No. 2, and so on, the rounds continuing, if possible, till every house has beaten the one above it, or has been beaten by it. Foreign matches are played every Saturday: there are no games that day, and every one is expected to look on.

For practice there are plenty of nets and three professionals for "first game," all members of which get plenty of training and coaching. The "Belows" nets are looked after by two or three masters, who coach and detect rising talent. Every house or dormitory—for house-matches the terms are synonymous—has also its special net assigned to it and reserved for it.

The schools played are Charterhouse and Haileybury. The Haileybury match was instituted in 1866, but on four occasions it has not taken place, owing to illness. The present state of the poll is—16 wins to Wellington, 4 to Haileybury, and 7 drawn matches. The score with Charterhouse is given under Charterhouse. Other matches are with I Zingari, the Free Foresters, the M.C.C., and the Staff College.

The following are among famous Wellington cricketers: Prince Christian Victor, G. F. H. Berkeley, G. J. Mordaunt, R. O'H. Livesay, G. J. V. Weigall, H. M. Braybrooke, A. C. M. Croome, E. C. Mordaunt.


(Colours—Pink blazer, cap, and sash.)

A history of the Westminster cricket-ground, now known as "Vincent's Square," would be too long for this work, though full of interest: suffice it to say that it has belonged to St Peter's College, Westminster, for over two centuries, and, known originally as Tuttle (Tot-hill) Fields, received its present name from William Vincent, Dean of Westminster early in the present century, and Head-master of St Peter's College, who insisted that the present plot of ground should be reserved for recreation at a time when the surrounding fields were sold for building purposes. The total area is about 10 acres, and has been steadily improved, so that at the present day, instead of a piece of rough meadow-land, the Westminster boys have a good tract of turf, part of which is never desecrated by football, whereon to play cricket, and this tract is known in the school argot as "Fields" or "Up-Fields." It is now one of the driest grounds in England, and rapidly recovers after rain.

Time was when Westminster produced her full share of great cricketers, but in later days competition has somewhat crowded her out, and not merely competition but the fact that she is largely a day-school as opposed to a boarding-school; and all those who have any knowledge of boy-life know how hard it is to inspire day-boys, full of home interests, with the zealous keenness which alone leads to that persistent practice from which true cricketers are bred. When "water"—Westminster for "rowing"—was abolished, it was hoped that cricket would have a larger amount of prosperity in consequence, and there are now signs that the wished-for improvement is not far off, and that Westminster cricket may rise once more to its old level; but till the "Home-boarders" show the same enthusiasm as the "Queen's Scholars" and "Boarders," no great things are possible, and at present few "Home-boarders" qualify for their colours.

On the four whole-school days about two hours and a half are devoted to practice at the nets or to practice-games, three professionals being employed for the education of the eleven and other promising players: other nets are set apart for the houses. On half-holidays there is "Big-game" for the proficient, and "form-matches," each controlled by a captain, for the rest of the school, the "forms" being drawn against each other on the League system. On two evenings in every week house-games take place, a professional being engaged on either side; and regular house-matches, on the " knock-out " principle, are also played for a challenge shield.

The chief matches of the Westminster season are against the Lords-and-Commons, Incogniti, I Zingari, M.C.C., and Charterhouse, the only school-match. Charterhouse has of late years proved itself far too strong for the London school, and the score stands at—Charterhouse 19 wins, Westminster 12 wins, drawn games 3.

Among well-known Westminster cricketers may be quoted J. L. Baldwin, H. M. Curteis, E. T. Drake, R. M. Curteis, C. G. Lane, H. E. Bull, R. D. Balfour, E. Bray, C. J. M. Fox, S. C. Probyn, L. J. Moon, W. R. Moon, W. E. Roller, F. T. Higgins.


(Colours—White flannel blazer, trimmed with dark blue, with brass buttons stamped with arms; dark-blue cap and sash. )

No school possesses, from the batsman's point of view, a more delightful ground than Winchester does in "New Field," where wickets of wonderful excellence are provided, and scoring in consequence is consistently high. The system of training, too, is one of high excellence, and is calculated to make the very most of all available talent. Most important of all is the incessant attention paid to fielding, in which department Winchester men have always been famous for their ability.

The organisation of practice is as follows: on ordinary afternoons the professionals' nets are occupied by the best players for an hour. At the end of that time fielding-practice is indulged in for some three-quarters of an hour, while the second class bat and bowl at the nets. These latter go to "house-fielding" later on in the day, when the nets are reserved for promising colts
Ranji 1897 page 311 H. D. G. Leveson-Gower's push-stroke in the slips.jpg


From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.

under sixteen. All this practice is under careful supervision. In addition to this every house has its own nets, and as all these are in one long row, patrolled by those who delight in supervising the school cricket, it is almost impossible for any cricketer, however young, who shows promise, to escape the observation of the powers that be. It is not surprising that, when organisation is so good and overlooking so complete, Winchester cricket should have reached such a high general standard.

On half-holidays a match of some kind is provided for the first eleven. For the rest of the school—those who are over sixteen—games are provided by a senior club and two middle clubs; while for the improvement and amusement of the juniors, a system of League matches between the different houses has been instituted, each house playing the other in turn. As a challenge cup is given, to be held by the winning house, it is not surprising that the competition is keen and the excitement intense—all the more so that the competition runs on steadily throughout the term, which is not the case when the "knock-out" system is adopted. Even lower down in the scale games are provided, known as the "Junior junior," in which each house plays the same house as its League team is encountering. There are consequently at least fifteen games in course of decision every half-holiday afternoon, in addition to the first eleven match, and, needless to say, such an admirable scheme of organisation is largely dependent on the time given to it by those who devote their leisure to fostering the game.

Winchester plays only one school match—with its ancient rival, Eton. At one time an inter-school week used to be held at Lord's, in which Eton, Harrow, and Winchester met each the other. However, this "week" has fallen into desuetude, and the Harrow-Winchester match has been abandoned. The EtonWinchester fixture takes place at either school in alternate years, and is, to Winchester at least, the great event of the year, while the immigration of large numbers of boys from the visiting school prevents any possibility of lop-sidedness, to any great extent, in the enthusiasm and applause.

Outside the Eton match the chief Winchester fixtures are with A. J. Webbe's XL, the Free Foresters, I Zingari, the M.C.C., and the Butterflies.

Among later Wykehamist cricketers may be mentioned J. Shuter, J. R. Mason, H. R. Webbe, F. A. G. Leveson-Gower, H. D. G. Leveson-Gower, Rev. J. H. Savory, R. P. Lewis, G. W. Ricketts, V. T. Hill, A. H. Trevor, W. Lindsay, L. S. Howell.
Ranji 1897 page 313 J. R. Mason forcing the ball off his legs.jpg


From photo by E. Hawkins & Co., Brighton.