The Cricketer Cup is competed for between the old-boy sides of the UK's thirty-two leading public schools. It was established in 1967 by The Cricketer Magazine to celebrate the spirit of the game whilst upholding the high standards in which it is played at these schools. Over the years, 23 Test Match players including 6 England captains have played in the competition and today it is heralded as the most prestigious form of amateur cricket in the world.
Schools choose their sides carefully for the Cricketer Cup. Many of them have county players in their ranks who will play whenever possible, and as soon as their first class contracts come to an end they join their old-boys sides in earnest. As Mark Nicholas said: 'The Cricketer Cup is the most enjoyable cricket I have ever played. It combines true competitiveness on the field with that jovial spirit that I remember so fondly from school.'
The final is held in Roehampton at the famous Bank of England Ground. Like a Public School sports day, supporters park their cars, unload their picnic hampers around the ground and spend a happy day meeting old friends. By tradition, the secretary of MCC presents the cup and the sponsor presents individual awards and announces the overall prize, which may be a dinner or a weekend away for the winners. There is a marquee and an enclosure for the sponsor to entertain their guests.
The Cricketer is the world's largest selling international cricket magazine and has been in continuous publication for eighty years. Fifty percent of its circulation is sold on subscription and eighty percent of its
subscribers renew each year. It has a deeply loyal following and is respected in particular for the quality of its editorial.