‘Blue & Gold’ Cricket Luncheon

  1. Home
  2. Uncategorised
  3. ‘Blue & Gold’ Cricket Luncheon

The launch of the MOS Cricket Scholarship, the naming of three new inductees to the Sydney University Cricket Club Virtual Hall of Fame and a lively panel discussion involving pertinent cricket matters were among many highlights at the 22nd annual ‘Blue & Gold’ Cricket Luncheon, held at the Ivy Ballroom on Friday, November 18.

Host of the Blue & Gold luncheon Rodney Tubbs, used the 2016 Luncheon to launch the MOS Cricket Scholarship, named in honour of SUCC stalwart Mick O’Sullivan, who passed away in 2013.

Mick’s First Grade career with SUCC spanned four decades. His tally of 622 First Grade wickets is a club record unlikely to be surpassed. During his long association with the club he held most positions off and on the field and at the time of his passing he was Chairman of the SUCC Board.

Mr Tubbs said the MOS Scholarship will be awarded in perpetuity from 2017 onwards to a promising spin bowler who is playing for SUCC and successfully pursuing studies at the University.

The Luncheon was also the perfect venue to announce the three new inductees the Sydney University Cricket Club Virtual Hall of Fame.

They are Joseph Coates, who played for SUCC in the late 1800s, and O’Reilly Medal winners John Grimble and John Knight who donned the blue and gold cap in the 1970s.

Coates, who was born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire in 1844, arrived in Sydney in the 1860s to become one of the original two assistant masters under Thomas Johnstone, first headmaster of Newington College, Sydney. He later moved to Fort Street School where he became headmaster in 1875 and followed that with stints as headmaster at Newington College, starting in 1877, and Sydney Boys’ High School from 1883. He died at his home on Moore Park Road in in 1896.

During his time in the colony he played cricket for SUCC and captained NSW in 32 matches against other colonies and England. A fine batsman and slow bowler, he is credited with the introduction of the ‘yorker’ in Australia. Coates was also a founder and benefactor of the NSW Cricket Association and an original Life Member of the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Saint came to the campus from western Sydney in the early 1980s and went on to win back-to-back O’Reilly Medals, named after the former NSW and Australian leg-spinner and presented to the best performed player each year in the Sydney’s Premier competition.

While he arrived as a well-credentialled bowler and came back as a bowling coach on retirement from the game, he was also a handy batsman. His maiden First Grade century for SUCC was a knock of 173 against Petersham, an innings that included 11 sixes and 21 fours. The 11 sixes included five off the first five balls of an over.

“I went for the sixth ball but took a divot out of the pitch, caught a thick edge and had to settle with a four,” were his memories of the innings.

“I came to SUCC from Blacktown hoping the intellectual lifestyle would rub off on me.  A lunch in King St, Newtown, with (former SUSF executive director) Greg Harris and (SUS director) Bruce Ross helped me make the decision, but I think the reverse happened and my Blacktown upbringing might have rubbed off on a few students.”
Grimble, another fine all-rounder who also won the O’Reilly Medal, once bowled 42 overs straight on a steamy day at Hurstville Oval to collect 6-104.

“The structure of the club is amazing now; it is so professional,” he said.

The lively panel discussion featured former South African captain and all-rounder Shaun Pollock, former Sydney University, NSW and Australian leg-spinner Stuart MacGill, and respected cricket journalist Mike Coward, with Adam Spencer calling the shots.

Pollock and MacGill have over 150 Tests and 300 ODIs between them, while Coward’s erudite coverage of the game goes back five decades. Spence is one of the best panel hosts in the business, combining intelligence and humour to create a highly entertaining segment.

And it didn’t take him long to question the issue of ball tampering, the make-up of the Australian team, respect for the Baggy Green cap, the lack of a succession plan for the Australian team and a host of other informative and controversial cricket topics.

Bring on the 2017 Blue & Gold Cricket Luncheon.