Merchant Taylors’ School, one of England’s premier independent schools located in Northwood, is set to come up with a new cricket facility for not only the institution but also the wider cricket community aimed at transforming indoor cricket provision in the region and emerge as one of the best of its kind in the entire country.
On October 31, school head master Simon Everson took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the centre named after the late Julian Hill, an alumnus and cricket enthusiast, along with others such as Duncan Eggar, chairman of governors; Amanda Hill, sister of Julian, whose gift of £1m helped the project; and the school’s Year 9 pupil and Middlesex U13 player Rishi.
Other major donors, including school governors; members of Middlesex CCC staff; representatives from sports clubhouses and boom construction, and the school’s project team that has driven the project internally, were also present at the ceremony.
According to the Merchant Taylors’ School website, the upcoming centre will have a training base for the school’s cricketers throughout the year where everybody, ranging from elite players to enthusiasts, can train. It will also become the base for Middlesex County Cricket Club’s indoor training and for international touring teams as well as for Middlesex CCC and Sunrisers. The facility will also be available for local schools and clubs so that the entire community can benefit from it.
The new centre will have specified bowling lanes that will replicate the conditions for both spin and seam; a specialist fielding area; video analysis equipment; a viewing gallery; and an events space.
Since the planning for the project had started, the minds behind it visited a number of newly opened cricket centres around the country and learned about new aspects that were included into their design for the facility at Merchant Taylors’ School.
“From the innovative system of netting, to the quality of surfaces and lighting, the Julian Hill Cricket Centre will be truly special,” it said in the website.