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 a Q&A session with the players.
The NatWest U13 National Club Championship 2015, organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), saw over 1,700 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 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).
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 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.
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.
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.