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Cricketing legend opens Oakham's new sports pavilion

Published Wednesday 4th of June 2014 09:36:00 AM

Former English cricket captain and President of the MCC Mike Gatting OBE visited Oakham School this weekend to open the new BAF Smith Pavilion.

The facility was officially declared open during the School's Speech Day. In his opening speech, Mr Gatting praised the quality of Oakham's cricket provision for its pupils over the years, and was delighted that future generations would benefit from the pavilion.

The new building is a superb addition to Oakham's current sporting provision and is ready to be used when the School hosts the famous Bunbury Cricket Festival later on in the year. The Pavilion is named after its benefactor Brian Smith (BAF), who was an exceptional sportsman during his time at Oakham. As well as holding the captaincy of the 1st Hockey, Cricket and Rugby teams during his final year at the School, all three teams were unbeaten an unrivalled achievement in Oakham School history.

A celebrity 20/20 match had also been planned, but it, unfortunately, had to be cancelled due to poor weather on the day. Famous cricketers were all lined up to play alongside Oakham's 1st XI, including ex-England captain and Lancashire player, Andrew Flintoff, MBE, Paul Nixon (England, Leicestershire & Kent), Ben Smith (Leicestershire & Worcestershire) and Greg Smith (Leicestershire).

Oakham School has a national reputation for producing outstanding cricketers, including Stuart Broad. A number of Oakham's successful cricketing alumni were also planning on taking part in the 20/20 match, including; Leicestershire players Matthew Boyce, Josh Cobb and Alex Wyatt, Paul Cook (Lincolnshire), Alex Martin (Oxford MCCU), Callum French (Cambridgeshire) and Henry Foster (Suffolk & Essex 2nds).

'Speech Day is a time to acknowledge and admire how Oakhamians have worked hard on their studies, artistic talents, or on the pitch, says Headmaster Nigel Lashbrook. 'This really was an incredibly fitting time to not only celebrate the opening of this superb facility, but also to reflect on the many successes of our current and past students.'
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