2015 – 2016
Officers: Captain Henry Theakston; Vice-Captain Joe Morgan
2016: Fifteen-year-old Pranav Dhanawade made 1,009 runs in a single innings; Alastair Cook became the youngest player to score 10,000 test runs; Indian T20 side Assam totalled 44 runs against Delhi after 12.1 overs; QCCC played out an interesting season of cricket. A number of key players from last year’s squad had been lost to the banes of any Oxford cricket captain’s life, graduation and exams. There were, however, reasons to be optimistic at the start of the season with a number of freshers coming into the side, and students from across the year groups displaying an interest in playing cricket, many of them for the first time.
QCCC’s first game of the season was a friendly against a team of older gentlemen, many of them Oxford graduates, who had clearly spent years practising batting. They were a very effective and experienced team, and dominated most aspects of the game, despite the best efforts of QCCC’s bowlers that included new players Charles Avery and Andrew Jones. After this first game, this baptism of fire, there were a considerable number of lessons which these older gentlemen had learned throughout their long cricketing careers, which QCCC’s players had to apply to themselves. When the season began in earnest the lessons appeared to have been learnt. QCCC came up against a Corpus Christi side, which apparently had not won a match for three years, and a very competent QCCC performance with both bat, for which Paul McNally, Will Stone, Fraser Allardice, and Joe Morgan must be praised, and ball, for which McNally must also be lauded along with Avery for some savage pace, helped QCCC to a convincing 199-5 against Corpus’ total of 70 all out.
Optimism then abounded, but the team soon tasted the bitterest pill when playing Merton twice in one week, first in Cuppers and then in the league, losing on both occasions while still showing considerable grit and determination. A trend emerged at this time which would recur throughout the season. There was plenty of enthusiasm for cricket from the members of the College and QCCC possessed some good bowlers, among them Avery, Morgan, Jones and Finlay Stewart, but the batsmen often struggled.
A number of matches against teams from Jesus, Trinity and Wadham were, regrettably and painfully, defined by QCCC batting collapses against a handful of highly-skilled bowlers. This is not to say that QCCC ever went down without a fight. A number of batsmen, not least among them Stone, Daniel Lea, Guy Fairburn and Morgan ground out respectable individual innings, and the bowling and fielding was performed with passion and grit. There is, however, little to be done against teams with one or two especially talented individuals. This was also the case in the two ‘Old Boys’ friendlies, the first against the ‘Lemmings’ and the second against the ‘Crocodiles’ (apparently, like their name-sake in the animal kingdom, they have a long tail) who, like the older gentlemen against whom the season began, have clearly used their long lives to perfect their technique.
A number of matches were frustratingly curtailed by rain, but one re-arranged fixture against University College saw an incredibly tight game. QCCC had been bowled out for 83, a score made possible thanks to the efforts of one of the opposition bowlers bowling ten wide balls in one of his overs, and then set out vigorously to defend it with the bowlers working hard to dismiss University College for 76. This was a high point in a very mixed season for QCCC in which the bowling attack represented the main strength and the team struggled with a shortage of truly accomplished batsmen. Such a situation brings to mind the 2009 season when QCCC missed promotion by the margin of only four runs. Although QCCC never looked like pushing for promotion in 2016, the Club is hoping that there will be a large number of players amongst the new students to help the team move forward next season.