First ever State School Representative fixtures take place in Wiltshire

On Wednesday 1st May, the first ever state school representative fixtures took place in Wiltshire with our County Boys Under 12s/13s and County Boys Under 14s/15s teams, made up entirely of players from state schools, competing in fixtures against Dauntsey’s School.

Following the ECB’s response to last year’s ICEC report, one such point read as follows; “Working with partners in the wider game to design an enhanced and expanded Talent Pathway that aims to remove barriers and increase opportunity. Our aim is that by 2025, finance will not be a barrier for Talent Pathway participants”.

Ahead of the 2023-2024 Talent Pathway winter coaching programme, Wiltshire Cricket released its first ever ethnicity and schooling data capture for players involved with our Talent Pathway. This data does show a higher percentage of players from fee paying schools participating in our Talent Pathway than is reflective of wider society as a whole. Therefore, our state school fixtures represent just one way in which Wiltshire Cricket is aiming to increase opportunities for children from state schools. This is part of the game’s ambition to remove barriers and in the longer term see a greater number of players from a diverse range of backgrounds becoming involved in the Pathway. However, we would also reiterate an important point within the article linked above which is as follows; “In the meantime, we will continue to focus on delivering a high quality Pathway for those involved in it right now, recognising that in its own right the Pathway has a responsibility for supporting players from all backgrounds to reach their full potential”.

The latter point is an important one for us to stress to players and parents across Wiltshire. Our pathway continues to be welcome and open to players of all backgrounds and this provision of state school fixtures is an additional activity being provided by Wiltshire Cricket as opposed to a replacement of any existing pathway activity. Selection and opportunities within the pathway remain based on our Talent ID processes without any bias applied.

In terms of these inaugural fixtures, the Wiltshire Under 12s/13s team fell to a 34 run defeat in a low scoring game. For Wiltshire, there were two wickets apiece for Sebastian Norman and Jack Leighfield whilst with the bat Ben Fry top scored with 22 not out. For Dauntsey's, Wiltshire player Barney Nickell took 5-5.

As for the Wiltshire Under14s/15s team, there was a victory for Wiltshire by 8 runs. For Wiltshire, Charlie Moyser top scored with 30, followed by Pavel Sahota with 27. With the ball Solomon Mortimer returned top figures of 4-21.

The next round of state school fixtures take place on Thursday 16th May against Marlborough College.