CANFORD cricket is having one of its most successful seasons, as the school celebrates its centenary year.

The sport is increasingly popular with both boys and girls who are supported by a strong coaching programme led by former Hampshire and Middlesex professional Matt Keech, level four coach and current Dorset Women’s head coach Steve Wilson and former Gloucestershire professional Julian Shackleton.

Rated in the past as among the top 100 cricket schools in the country by The Cricketer, Canford’s first XI square, known as Mountjoy, is set against the backdrop of Canford Manor.

The boys’ first XI reached the last 32 of the national T20 competition having knocked out perennial powerhouse Wellington College away from home.

The under-15 boys also reached the last 32 stage in their national competition.

Similarly, among the girls’ sides the U18s and U15s both progressed through to the quarter-finals of the School Sports Magazine National T20 competition.

There is also ongoing success for individual players. At national level, current upper sixth pupil Eddie Jack is part of the England U19 international squad, spending time earlier in the year in Australia and Dubai.

Izzy Reeve, still only in the fourth form, was selected as one of only 12 players in the country for the Southern Vipers Academy and its Emerging Players Programme. 

Canfordians are continuing their cricket careers beyond school also, with OC Tom Prest playing for the England Lions and both he and Felix Organ regulars for Hampshire.

Director of cricket Keech commented: “It is wonderful to see Canford cricket going from strength to strength.

“We have always been a strong cricket school, but the current popularity of the sport among both boys and girls and the success they are achieving is testament to a great deal of hard work and dedication by players and coaches alike.

“Seeing Canfordians grow on the regional, national and international cricket stage at school and beyond is hugely rewarding for the coaching team, but equally we are as delighted to see the development of players of all abilities who enjoy this wonderful sport whatever their level, and displaying Canford’s values.”