The Cricket Professionals of Oxford


By Michael Stimpson

Oxford has a rich cricketing history, and this book tells the stories of the most significant professional cricketers from the Oxford area of the last two hundred years.

Cowley Marsh was at the heart of Oxford cricket. Temple Cowley is located adjacent to Cowley Marsh and several professional cricketers came from that village, including underarm bowler Peter Bancalari in the 1820s, fiery roundarm bowler David Burrin in the 1850s, and fast man ‘Brusher’ Rogers at the end of the Victorian era.

Come the 20th century, some fine batters emerged from Temple Cowley, with George Brown and Johnny Arnold playing for England in the inter-war years. More recently, Oxford-born Jack Brooks was a championship winner with Yorkshire.

As cricket prospered, jobs were created in Oxford in associated professions such as bat-and-ball making. The stories of families involved in these occupations are also told, along with those of men like Edward Martin who moved to Oxford to develop his own cricket ground, and Jamaican-born Rupert Evans, highly influential as player and coach over the last fifty years.