Fantastic start to the season enjoyed by a thriving Kimbolton School

THE Kimbolton School cricket team has enjoyed a fantastic start to the new season with five wins and two draws from their opening seven encounters.

Victories were recorded over Huntingdonshire U17s, Bedford Modern School, Ratcliffe College, UCS London and notably the MCC - the first Kimbolton School victory over the MCC in 10 years.

There have also been some outstanding individual performances during that run including Robert Craze, who hit a match-winning 115 in the defeat of Hunts U17s and is also the team's leading wicket taker with 13 victims.

Kimbolton's start has coincided with the continuation of a thriving cricket youth system at the school.

Tom Webley, who is master in charge of cricket at Kimbolton School, explained: "We run six youth teams from U12 to U15 age groups and are expanding to create a possible two more teams with the increased level of interest from our pupils.

"We train twice a week with each age group, where we have around 45 U12 and U13 boys and around 30 U14 and U15s on each of their training nights."

Webley, who played professionally for Somerset and also represented England U19s in his younger days, said he expects cricket to continue to go from strength to strength at the school, saying: "I created a cricket academy in October 2009 - which I run from October through to March - where the best three cricketers from each age group train and develop together.

"We have developed our facilities with new outdoor nets last year and the plan is to keep expanding our youth section and ultimately get more pupils playing cricket fixtures."

Kimbolton's youth system is already beginning to bear fruit with Michael Lane averaging 76 with the bat for the U15s.

Meanwhile U14 player George Furbank, who also represents the county at that age group, was chosen to train with Leicestershire's Academy throughout the winter.

"There are also many other talented pupils coming through the system who are representing Huntingdonshire and Northants county youth teams," said Webley.

"I have just started to introduce girls' cricket as well, and have some upcoming fixtures, while eight of our girls have already represented the county."