A reflection on the cricket season – Toby Braybrooke
With the cricket season well underway for both boys and girls for the first time ever at RHS, there has been a mixture of results across the board. New boy in the first team Billy Amas, described as “the master blaster” by some, has impressed on his debut season for the school, competing with Toby Brown for the place as wicket keeper.
However I’m not going to bore you with lots of results that have already been read out in assembly. This year there are two Arulampalams representing the school first team; Tilly for the girls and Ben for the boys. This is Tilly’s second year playing cricket for the firsts, whereas this is Ben’s third.
I spoke to both of them to get an understanding of what it’s like to play and train in “Graham Napier’s Cricket Academy”.
Toby : How has the season gone so far?
Tilly: So far we have had a very successful season with a recent win against St Joes and two losses against Ipswich school and Framlingham College. The game vs Ipswich came down to the last ball, which unfortunately went against our favour, meaning we lost the game narrowly by one run. This situation taught us a great deal about the pressure we would encounter whilst playing cricket and how to cope with it whilst maintaining high levels of performance.
Toby: How has the team’s cricket developed throughout the season?
Tilly: Well, It is highly rewarding to see how the quality of our cricket has progressed throughout the season. We train twice a week, practicing a combination of bowling, batting and specific fielding skills. We have improved our technique with the help of the fantastic coaches available to us, especially Mr Barraclough (girls’ first team coach). As a team, the most significant area of improvement has probably been our bowling. Since the start of the term, the level of accuracy, pace and consistency of our bowls has dramatically improved; we put this down to hard work, practice and determination .
Toby: What has been your greatest strength as a team?
Tilly: I would say that our greatest strength is the team work and attitude we demonstrate, both in the field and whilst batting. Lots of communication and support for one another is vital for a team to connect well and I feel that the squad has really grasped this idea. From praising a good bowl to shouting support to the player batting, our positive mindset in the field is something which I believe sets us apart from other teams we have played against.
Toby: And finally, what are your aspirations for the future of girls cricket at RHS?
Tilly: By looking at our progression in just half a term, it is clear to see that we have come a long way since the introduction of girls cricket at RHS. I am certain that we will only continue to increase our skills in all parts of the game and I look forward to our upcoming matches this season aswell as prospects for next year!
Toby: How would you say your season has gone so far, and have you progressed as a team?
Ben: the season has gone pretty well, there have been ups and downs. More importantly we have progressed as a team and most players have improved some aspect of their game. Notably Louis Gibson’s fielding.
Toby: What’s been your highlight of the season so far?
Ben: A personal highlight has been bowling Langley out for 75 and chasing down their total in 15 overs.
Toby: Finally, Who would you say has been the stand out player for the team this year?
Ben: For me its got to be Billy Amas, not only is he by far the best all-rounder, he shows the most commitment and effort every training session and game. And the school will be in good hands with him next year.
The staff on the other hand have their own team, made up of the most elite of sportsmen. Mr Napier, obviously would be a stand out player among the staff, given his past experience with cricket. However there are other notable members of the team. Mr Butt being clinical with the bat, Battman a specialist leg spinner- who only bowls “googlies”, and Mr Gould a stand out fielder at point. Mr Gould is particularly a fan of Mr Napier, as he owns a jumper with ‘Napier’ on the back. Even though it may make him seem like a good cricketer, he still is very much Mr Gould.
Cricket at RHS is ever -rowing and, in the years to come, there is enough talent throughout the school to maintain this high standard.