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QRC celebrates 45th InterCol victory

Published: 
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
QRC principal David Simon, right, is presented with the Royal 72 Champions Award by Dr Afzal Mohammed.

On Saturday night, members of the Queen’s Royal College’s “Royal 72 Champions” gathered at the Harvard Sports Club in St Clair in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the cricket team’s national InterCol victory in 1972.

Members of the team which were honoured included Zafar “Zaf” Khan, Rajendra “Rajen” Sewsarran, Oswin “Ossie” Moore, Afzal “Skip” Mohammed, Valentino “Tino” Singh, Dave De Landro, Derek Ambrose, Ravi “Robbie” Mohammed, Waaz Hosein, and the departed, Glen “Zab” Richards, Steve Hall, Ferdinand “Corey” Joseph, and Sebastian Pillai.

In 1972, QRC’s cricket team pulled off an improbable 31 run victory in the Colleges Cricket League (CCL) Senior Division national semifinal against ten-time winner and finalist eleven years prior, St Mary’s College, before trouncing Fatima College by 107 runs in the succeeding final.

Captain of the winning team, Dr Afzal Mohammed believed it was the spirit of the team that guided the “Royalians” to the title in 1972.

In reflection of the semifinal match-up against St Mary’s, he said, “I arrived at St Mary’s Grounds thinking we would probably lose on the day, but once I arrived and saw how fired up all of the guys were to play, I said ok, if these guys are fired up we can actually win this, and we did.”

In appreciation of the team’s win, Mohammed has created the The Royal 72 Champions Award, which will be an annual award of $5,000 and a replica of what was then called the Cadburry-Fry Trophy. It will be awarded to the QRC student that demonstrates outstanding academic achievement.

Justice Prakash Moosai, who was on the losing St Mary’s team in 1972, was the featured speaker on the night and he stated: “Who can but fail to recognise and admire that QRC has been the success story of secondary schools in T&T that are not part of the denominational school structure.”

He referred to his St Mary’s team as the “titans” and the QRC team, as the “long shots” and he believed the match was a “David versus Goliath” encounter.

In addition to reflecting on the match, as well as, the illustrious histories of the two schools, he outlined his continued displeasure at the failure to conserve school’s cricket history.

“As an academic, I remain extremely annoyed that given our rich cricketing history, and as present advised, no one has seen it fit to document the cricketing history of, not only our two great colleges, but also the cricket history of college’s cricket,” he said.

Current QRC principal, David Simon also spoke at the event and used the opportunity as a chance to compare the administration of the Secondary School’s Cricket League to the Secondary School’s Football League.

“It is my hope that what is happening in the Secondary School’s Football League will never happen in cricket,” he said.

“I stand celebrating with a group of individuals who would have practised this (fair play). Not only the QRC members of the 1972 team, but the mere fact that we had someone from St Mary’s delivering such a steering message to us, himself a Justice of Peace, indicated that in those days you had, not boys, you had men of honour representing in situations of class,” the school’s principal added.

Though none of the members of the 1972 team went on to play for the national team or internationally, the remarkable feat marked only the second time QRC had won the National Cricket InterCol, and the school has failed to replicate the accomplishment since.

JONATHON MATOUK