Cambridge NCI Cricket Club

Guide for new players

So you’ve decided to play cricket!

We’re lucky to have the chance to play this great game in many levels at many stunning venues in Cambridge and the surrounding villages.  When I started playing I was completely new to the game, so I thought I’d write a guide for those coming into the game, playing for the first time in the UK, or coming back from being out of the game for a while.

Our club philosophy is to get all players involved in the game, no matter what their level.  Our 1st XI play at a high standard, whereas our 4th XI play at the lowest tier of league cricket.  We’re happy to accept, and give games to people of all standards.

Our main focus is Saturday league cricket, where we aim to get 44 players out each week of the season.


"Nets" are the location where we train cricket, a strip of netting open on one end allowing us to train batting and bowling without fetching cricket balls from afar.  These can be indoor at any time or outdoor during the summer.

Netherhall cricket nets
Netherhall Cricket Nets, where we train in Summer

Saturday cricket

Weekend cricket, takes place on Saturdays between early May and late August.  The format is 40 overs a side. Matches start at 13:00, if they go the distance, finish about 19:00.  Aim to arrive at the ground at 12:30 to give yourself time to get lost, changed and warm up beforehand. To play, we’ll need to register you with the league, so we’ll need to get your name, address, date of birth, email address and how long you’ve lived in the UK. There is a tea break in the middle. Traditionally the home team has brought sandwiches, although the pandemic has disrupted this, with people mainly providing their own nibbles since.

After the match you’ll be cordially invited to our sponsor's pub to celebrate/commiserate your stunning victory/close defeat with the club.

Midweek Cricket

Midweek cricket, takes place after work between late May and early August.  These are twenty20 games (often 15 8-ball overs to make best use of light).  Start time is usually 18:00 finishing before 21:00 if not a bit earlier. These games tend to be more informal playing teams of a more varied standard.


You’ll need some kit. We don’t have much in the way of club kit, and most people tend to have their own. We train in normal sports clothing, but we wear “cricket whites” for all games, and I’d suggest a pair of cricket-spiked trainers if you have them. Here’s a list of kit:

  •        White T-shirt
  •        White trousers
  •        Trainers (white if you have them, cricket spikes are advised)
  •        Jockstrap (To wear between your trousers and pants to keep your box in.  If you forget or don’t have this, then wear a tight pair of pants)
  •        Cricket box. (People can be less willing to lend these!)
  •        Bat
  •        Pads
  •        Cricket gloves (You can get a lend of bat/pads/gloves initially, but if you play regularly you should get your own)
  •        Helmet (this is mandatory for people 19 years of age or younger)
  •        A cap or sun hat if it’s warm
  •        Suncream if it’s sunny

Much of this can be obtained second-hand (from eBay, etc) if needed, and some players may be able to hand down their older kit.  We have a club shop where you can buy branded T-shirts, trousers, and hoodies.

Umpring and scoring

Typically the batting side will provide two umpires and two scorers while the opposition is in bat.  As you become more familiar with the game,  you may be asked to help out with these.  If you are able, please do.

Match fees

For each match we have to pay for the hire of the pitch and purchase of the balls (and teas on weekends).  Each player chips in a match fee to help cover this. Regular players pay a subscription which gives them a discount.  Details of our current fees are here: