AJ Woodland named as Wisden School Cricketer of the Year

The St Edward’s 1st XI cricket captain in the record-breaking 2016 season, AJ Woodland, has today been announced as the Wisden Schools Cricketer of the Year.

AJ, who played for the 1st XI for four years, captained the side in his final year, and the team went on to record 15 wins in all formats in what was a heavily weather restricted season. AJ broke the School batting record, scoring 1,207 runs in the season, taking his career tally to 2,734, alongside his 76 career wickets.

He also broke the School’s record for the number of centuries in a season with five, and scored the first double century in the School’s history against Abingdon, hitting 204 not out. During that match, his opening partnership with current Fifth Former Ben Charlesworth of 310 was another school record.

AJ and his team also went on to retain the John Harvey Cup – a league competition against Radley, Marlborough, Cheltenham, Bradfield, and Winchester – for the fourth year in succession.

Richard Howitt, Master in Charge of Cricket says, ‘AJ was a joy to coach in every way. A dedicated player with a cool head and an exceptional cricketing knowledge, he turned matches – and heads – with his batting, bowling, and fielding.’

Another St Edward’s pupil, Jamie Curtis made the list in Wisden as the second highest wicket taker in the country with 38, including 5 for just 20
runs against Radley.

AJ, who has drawn comparison in the past to former England Test captain Alistair Cook, is an exceptional left-handed opener, whose concentration and ability to construct an innings has drawn many plaudits. He averaged 85 runs per innings in 2016 and, by winning the Wisden Schools Cricketer of the Year, joins illustrious company with the likes of Jos Butler and Jonny Bairstow, among others.

Congratulations to AJ and to Jamie on these wonderful achievements. This year’s 1st XI, captained by Brandon Allen, recently played and beat Oxford University MCCU in the University Parks setting up the prospect of an exciting season to come. Ben Charlesworth is currently away touring with the England U17s in Sri Lanka, where he was recently awarded Man of the Match in a fixture versus a Sri Lankan national U17 side.

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