Cricket is the major boys’ sport for the Summer Term. Training begins in January with the Winter Programme, from Year 5 up to the Seniors, where a great deal of preparation is completed for the coming season. Matthew Hoggard MBE assists with these sessions offering his wide range of expertise. To supplement this, special Master Class sessions are run by a variety of professional cricketers from Leicestershire such as Matthew Boyce, Ben Raine and Rob Taylor. With 12 teams from U9 to 1st XI competing in a variety of fixtures, competitions and county cups there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to get involved.
The 1st XI plays a competitive circuit including the likes of Loughborough Grammar School, Leicestershire Gents, the XL Club and the prestigious MCC fixture and always finishes with the ever popular cricket week which includes a four team festival. In addition, the team host a touring Australian side every year, with St Kevin’s, Scotch and Assumption from Melbourne all having visited in recent years whilst the team also enter the Catholic Schools’ Cup hosted at The Oratory School.
Once cricketers have left the College, they can continue to be involved with cricket at Ratcliffe through our 1st XI Old Boys’ fixture, the Richard Hughes 2020, joining the Emeriti Cricket Club (for Catholic Old Boys) or playing in Old Boys’ fixtures against other school old boys’ sides.
Cricket enjoys success at the school both on an individual and team level. A variety of individuals currently represent their county at different age groups from U12 to U18. Dominic Warne and Ben Shaw were rated as two of the top batsmen in the country according to Wisden 2014. Sam Nightingale was ranked the 6th best batsmen in Wisden 2016 and Toby Snell 17th. Jack Nightingale was selected for the Bunbury Cup and also the Best of Bunbury Team, with Luke Wright of Sussex CCC and England being the most famous alumni. The 1st XI won the Emeriti Trophy on three occasions and most recently won the Catholic Schools’ Cup in 2014, triumphing over the Oratory School in the final.