Recog­ni­tion for King’s cricket

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT - CRICKET

THE King’s School has been se­lected as one of the top 100 schools in the United King­dom for cricket by the Crick­eter Mag­a­zine.

The sport­ing bible judged their se­lec­tion on the qual­ity of coach­ing, the range of fix­tures, ex­tent of fa­cil­i­ties and the qual­ity of crick­eter making their way into the pro­fes­sional ranks and League cricket.

Head of Cricket Steve Moores over­sees teams at First and Sec­ond team level, un­der, 15, un­der-14, un­der 13 and un­der 12 with the 12s and 13s run­ning B sides and oc­ca­sion­ally C sides.

The school has a main pitch on Cum­ber­land Street, which is a prom­i­nent fea­ture in the town cen­tre, an all weather pitch on the West­min­ster Road site, three more grass squares at the Derby play­ing fields and pitches for ju­nior and girls’ cricket at Fence Av­enue.

In any one sea­son the first team will play around 22 fix­tures with team com­ing from as far away as Ed­in­burgh, but with an­nual derby matches against sides like the Manch­ester Gram­mar School and Sed­bergh very much the high­light. King’s has al­ways en­joyed a high ra­tio of wins to losses even in mod­er­ate years and oc­ca­sion­ally teams have gone un­beaten.

The school has ex­ten­sive all weather out­door nets at West­min­ster Road, but uses the Leisure Cen­tre for win­ter in­door train­ing.

The school has pro- duced only a hand­ful of first class crick­eters most no­tably Steve’s brother Peter, who is the for­mer Eng­land coach and as a player was a stal­wart of Sus­sex, but has a won­der­ful record of pro­duc­ing mi­nor coun­ties stars and feed­ing scores of play­ers in the lo­cal leagues.

In the 2016 sea­son for­mer King’s cap­tains James Lo­mas, Tom Fore­man and Alan Day all made their de­buts for the Cheshire 1st XI with James Duffy and Khalid Sawas al­ready ac­com­plished Cheshire play­ers.

Johnny Mars­den has been asked to cap­tain the Ox­ford univer­sity side next sea­son and will be play­ing first class cricket against some of the top play­ers in the coun­try. In re­cent years for­mer cap­tain James Duffy, Tom Tim For­man, James Lo­mas, Alan Day and Tom Parfitt have played and or cap­tained Cheshire.

In ad­di­tion to the top qual­ity crick­et­ing staff, the school uses skilled young Aus­tralian crick­eters to help coach King’s young tal­ent, plus it also re­cruits spe­cial­ist coaches such as First Team bat­ting spe­cial­ist for­mer Lan­cashire star Andy Kennedy and top lo­cal coach Fred Slater.

Steve Moores said: “Our ad­vice to any fa­ther or mother want­ing their son or daugh­ter son? to play cricket is to get a bat and ball in their hands at as early an age as pos­si­ble.

“The part­ner­ship with lo­cal clubs has im­proved im­mensely in the last 10 to 20 years and many lo­cal clubs run su­perb un­der 7, un­der 8 and un­der 9 sides and we of­ten see crick­eters come to us al­ready with high skill lev­els.

“Above all al­low them to enjoy the game, enjoy the com­pe­ti­tion and don’t over coach them. Some young­sters will come to us with a good shape at the crease and good tech­nique but don’t want to hit the ball; en­cour­age your son or daugh­ter to hit the ball hard.”

The school has toured ex­ten­sively with trips to Sri lanka (in­stead of Pak­istan)Pak­istan, Gre­nada and Bar­ba­dos in re­cent years and more in the plan­ning.

Steve Moores added: “More and more state and in­de­pen­dent school have ex­cel­lent fa­cil­i­ties so we are de­lighted to be cho­sen by the Crick­eter Mag­a­zine. Gen­er­a­tions of for­mer crick­eters re­mem­ber their days play­ing King’s cricket with great af­fec­tion and we want to main­tain that long tra­di­tion.”

●● King’s top young play­ers Wil­liam Hodg­son, An­gus Thom­son, Ge­orge Holden, Owen Jones and Joey Chong with coach Steve Moores.

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