Joseph Brooke – Bailey, the acting headmaster in 1840, introduced the game of cricket to the school. He joined the boys and also coached them but it was not organized nor was there room to play it properly. Subsequently Principal Boake did not encourage games and there was no enthusiasm for it.In 1859 there was a cricketing club for boarders.
However, it was only with the arrival of Mr. Ashley Walker in 1876 as the Mathematics and Boarding Master that a great change took place. He was from Yorkshire, won his Cambridge Blue and played first class cricket. Mr.Walker made the youngsters interested in the game and infused the spirit of sportsmanship which still lives in the Royalist of today.