The dank weather in these early weeks of the Summer Term has made for a frustrating time for Cranleigh School’s cricketers. To date, all matches other than two for the 1st XI have had to be cancelled owing to the wet conditions. Thursday night’s cricket club dinner was therefore even more of a highlight than it might normally have been, as the School welcomed Sky Sports commentator David Lloyd as the special guest.

Lloyd, the former Lancashire all-rounder, who both played for and coached the England side, as well as standing as a First-Class umpire, cannot help but have been impressed by the amount of cricket training taking place at the school in spite of the chilly and grey conditions. He seemed in his element as he moved around the 1st XI coaching sessions from both Cranleigh Senior and Cranleigh Prep School in the Trevor Abbott Sports Centre, and the newly built Cricket Centre. I’m sure some of the pupils will never forget the nuggets of advice he was able to pass on!

The day was made even better by the return of Old Cranleighan, and England One-Day International fast bowler, Stuart Meaker. He joined around a dozen other Old Cranleighans, the School’s coaching staff, and about fifty male and female pupils in Hall for dinner. Lloyd received questions from guests of all ages and demonstrated just why he has become such a respected and loved commentator, answering with honesty, passion and genuine insight into the game.
Topics as diverse as the funniest commentator to work with and the issue of South African cricketers playing for England were addressed, and Lloyd was forced to admit that he had made a gaffe while commentating on a recent match of Meaker’s, suggesting that Cranleigh School was somewhere in South Africa! The Headmaster was delighted to hear that Lloyd had been able to see not only how Meaker had been developed at Cranleigh from the age of eleven (his family having moved from SA), but also that the School has several other young players with genuine potential to follow him into the professional game.

It was a delightful evening: the School’s catering team produced a wonderful meal; Lloyd was entertaining and charming throughout; and the School’s pupils were thrilled to meet both him and Meaker. The evening ended with Lloyd wishing all the players well for the season – should the rain ever stop!