Run 100 to Raise 100 – Cricket Captains’ Charity Initiative

Cricket Captains Confront Coronavirus with Charity Plan

For anyone in the cricket community, summer and cricket go hand in hand. Legend has it that in June 1940 cricket was in full flow on the XI when a young Marlburian sprinted up the bank from the Summerfield direction and bellowed loudly across the ground “France has fallen!”

While the events of 80 years ago this summer are remembered by very few who are alive today, lots of parallels have been drawn in the media and elsewhere between the current Covid-19 lockdown and the home front in World War II. The recent honouring of the 75th anniversary of VE day has only increased the comparisons. There is no doubt that this is the biggest disturbance to our normal lives since the war years, but it would be insensitive to equate the comparatively trivial closure of shops, restaurants & pubs, virtual learning and social distancing to the humiliating retreat of Dunkirk, the evacuation of children, Hitler’s incessant bombing campaigns and the looming threat of Nazi invasion. However, one advantage that wartime Marlburians did have 80 years ago was the freedom to play cricket.

Anyone who has ever visited the Henry Rose Pavilion will have noticed the XI boards and felt a sense of the history in the room. The boards go back all the way to 1849 (6 years after the founding of the College) and include a number of distinguished Marlburians and families from different generations. The names Steel, Spooner, Druce, Griffith & Martin-Jenkins all tell stories of their own and there will be many more from the 170 years of history.

Therefore, for the current crop of college cricketers it is with great sadness that the very real prospect of no play threatens the 2020 season. But, rather than wallow in self-pity, this year’s XI captain Ben Spink (SU U6) and Girls XI captain Rosie Pembroke (EL U6) have shown a get up and go attitude in the current situation. They have come up with a charity idea of their own as a way of making a difference during these strange and unprecedented times.

The ‘Run 100 to Raise 100’ simply involves dressing up in batting gear and running 100 lengths of a wicket in as quick a time as possible. 50% of the money raised will go to The NHS Together with the other 50% being shared between two cricket charities: The Ruth Strauss Foundation and Cricket Without Boundaries.

Ben, a former Somerset youth cricketer and veteran of two years in the XI already, said “I’ve had an amazing cricketing experience during my five years at Marlborough, playing with some of my best mates and on such an incredible ground. Those memories will be with me for life. It’s been very disappointing not to be able to play my final season as captain, particularly as the side was showing so much promise during our tour to Cape Town.”

He led the boys side in the College’s first mixed cricket tour to South Africa in February alongside fellow girls captain Rosie. She adds “The disappointment of potentially losing my final season is eased a little by memories of the great experiences of cricket at Marlborough so far. I was lucky enough to arrive just as the Girls game was taking root in schools and I have been able to enjoy four full seasons culminating in the tour. I have also enjoyed playing many matches with the boys team in my age group.”

Indeed, Ben and Rosie shared a partnership of 254 in an U14 Wiltshire cup match in 2016, so this is far from their first joint effort on the cricket field. “We are now working on a cricketing partnership of a different kind”, she jokes. The daughter of the current Marlburian Club President Richard (B1 1985-90) has been a member of the Southern Vipers Academy and represented the full Wiltshire Ladies side. She acknowledges that the idea is very much Ben’s, but hopes it is a way that they can get something out of their last season. “I have taken so much from cricket at Marlborough and it’s nice to feel this is a way of giving a little back.”

Ben has remained incredibly positive during these dark times. “I thought we could all come together to do something fun while also raising funds for three really worthwhile charities.” He remarks “The momentum behind the ‘Run 100 to raise 100’ challenge is really building now, so do get friends and family to support us – join in, have some fun, and do donate if you can.”

At the time of writing at least 34 Marlburians, OMs, members of Common Room and their families have completed the challenge and the hope is that many more will get involved. If you are motivated then please do get involved and let us know. Any donations to these three extremely worthwhile charities would be appreciated enormously. Many thanks in advance.

Find out more about what you have to do or how to donate here.

 

Mike Bush
Master i/c Cricket
Marlborough Blues Fixtures Sec
(TU 1993-98 and CR 2011-present)

 

Pictured above:

Top left: Ben Spink (SU U6) completing the challenge.
Top right: Rosie Pembroke (EL U6) gearing up to start.
Bottom Row: C3 Housemaster Mr Lane & family getting into the spirit , Pavilion in Lockdown, current Club President Richard Pembroke (B1 1985-90) broken after completing the challenge.