Upper Canada College and Trinity College School played their first cricket match against each other on June 25, 1867.
That rivalry was renewed on Sept. 16 with two matches, followed by a reception and dinner at the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of competition between the two historic schools.
“Back in the day, cricket was the bastion of independent schools,” says Rodger Wright ’70, a UCC Old Boy and faculty member before moving on to TCS as headmaster for 21 years. He returned to UCC a year ago in a part-time role as special adviser to the vice-principal of advancement and strategy.
“There’s been a relationship between the Cricket Club and independent schools, particularly TCS and UCC, for many, many moons,” adds Wright.
The driving force behind this sesquicentennial cricket celebration was Ed Bracht ’55, the captain of the first post-war Canadian junior cricket team to visit the United Kingdom. He went on become the treasurer and chair of the Canadian Cricket Association when his playing days were over.
One Old Boy whose playing days apparently aren’t over was John Harvey ’67. He competed in the 100th anniversary match between UCC and TCS while he was a student and returned to take part in the 150th.
Two matches, both comprised of current and former players, were played on Sept. 16. UCC, which had a larger contingent of current players since many of the players from last season had graduated from TCS, won both of them.
About 50 people, in addition to the players, attended the Bracht-hosted dinner afterwards. TCS Headmaster Stuart Grainger spoke and issued a challenge to UCC Principal Sam McKinney, which was accepted when the latter addressed the audience. The head of the losing school must wear the colours of the winning team of a Conference of Independent Schools Athletics Association match next spring.
UCC head cricket coach Mark Baxter wrote an article about the history of cricket at the College, including the rivalry with TCS. Read it here.