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The History of Shenfield Cricket Academy

Since 2004 Shenfield High School has won 49 County Cricket titles in boys and girls indoor and outdoor cricket. We have won 2 National softball girls cricket titles, reached the semifinal of the National U17 Schools competition in 2017, played in 2 U15 girls National Cup finals days, won 1 South-East  England indoor cricket title and made the quarter final of the U18 National T20 cricket competition on 2 occasions. This level of National, Regional and county success is only possible because of a huge commitment to the provision for the game at Shenfield.

In 2011 Matt Salisbury was ‘Man of the Match’ for Shenfield in the U-19 Essex Cup final.  This was his 6th Essex title during his time at Shenfield. He went on to represent Cambridge University where he took 14 first class wickets in 2012. After signing a two-year contract with Essex he played for Hampshire in 2017. In 2018 he signed for Durham CCC and has taken over 50 first class wickets in the County Championship in his first two years with the county.  Matt was also a key member of the squad that we took to Barbados as the first ever state school to play in Sir Gary Sobers International Cricket tournament in 2010. Matt was very successful on this tour and was selected to play in the tournaments all-star game as one of the best performers from the 16 teams from all over the world. We encourage talented cricketers to look at further cricketing opportunities at university, such as the MCC programme at Cambridge University, for which we helped Matt to apply.

In 2012, having enjoyed so much success in cricket, we set up a Cricket Academy Programme to seek to emulate the elite provision of our Football Academy. Our Cricket Academy provision includes entering a wide range of tournaments and competitions. We have taken teams to St Albans School’s two day 20/20 tournament since 2013, winning the eight team tournament in 2016 and 2017 as well as playing annual fixtures against touring teams from Dubai and Australia and a fixture with the MCC.  We also take the Academy on an annual pre-season tour to Eastbourne College where we play against three other strong private schools. Current England Women’s cricketer Mady Villiers took four wickets for Shenfield’s 1st XI in a win against Eastbourne College in 2015. We have watched with great pride Mady’s rise to the England team. She played every game of the Surrey Stars’ successful Super League campaign with Mady taking three wickets in the 2018 Kia Super League final! Subsequently she was selected to play for England in the 2019 Ashes series and has gone on to become a regular in the England team playing a key part in the women’s team’s journey to the World Cup semi-final in March 2020. Mady  enjoyed huge opportunities for cricket at Shenfield, having previously been a football specialist. It was at Shenfield that she was first introduced to cricket and she took to the game immediately. Mady still comes back to Shenfield to pass on advice and help with some Academy coaching sessions.