Though informal cricket might have been played at Princeton in the 1700s & early 1800s a cricket club was formed in 1857, after UPenn’s in 1842 and before Harvard’s in 1862.
It was played in the 1860s and 1870s, though the Nassau Lit’s predicted that “the college authorities would stop it, as there was something wicket in it”, and sporadically since.
Princeton was challenged to a cricket match by Harvard University in 1889 Harvard coincidentally has just restarted a Cricket Club and become a part of American College Cricket.
From 2009 American College Cricket, and the significant media profile it has generated for the game, including on Facebook, is inspiring young cricketers all over the USA & Canada. The opportunity to compete against their peers is spurring students, who might have left the game, to be re-engaged.
The Princeton Cricket Club was restarted in 2010 by Tushar Gupta, who upon graduation was succeeded by Ric Sengupta, who got his MA in Mathematics this semester. Vijit Kapoor will be the President this Fall.
Ric Sengupta epitomizes our college cricket student-leaders : he’s going to pursue his Ph.D on a MIT Presidential Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) but as an undergrad won creative writing awards ! Including :- the Morris W. Kroll Poetry Prize and the Martin A. Dale ’53 Summer Award, 2010, from Princeton University, to fund research in the British National Archives and the British Library in London, for a novella on Sherlock Holmes’s investigation of the Jack the Ripper murders.
Club member Faeez Ul Haq, was just named a recipient of the 2012 Spirit of Princeton Award.
New Club President Vijit Kapoor, an economics junior, writes for “for the sports section of the school newspaper and have recently been involved in the social entrepreneurship club on campus“.
Like many of American College Cricket teams at the beginning, the Princeton club plays tape-ball, and will transition to hard ball,said Kapoor:
“We play indoor tape ball cricket two nights a week, but we’re trying to get a major order of equipment through the Athletics department, including a half-length jute mat, so we can potentially host matches and play a bit of hard ball cricket ourselves. We’ve only played one match in the two years, which we lost. We’re looking to play matches against other colleges as much as possible. We’re really excited about what American College Cricket is doing !”
Princeton’s colors are orange and black. The school’s athletes are known as Tigers, and the mascot is a tiger. The school has a huge rivalry with Rutgers, begun in 1869, when Rutgers defeated Princeton in the first college football game. The Princeton-Rutgers Cannon War is an on-going saga between students of the 2 schools.
Nassau Hall had cannon fired on it by George Washington troops during the Revolutionary War (when it was occupied by the Britsh). Princeton was the USA’s capital for 4 months in 1883 when the Continental Congress met at Nassau Hall whilst drafting the US Consitution.
Three Presidents graduated from Princeton including “Father of the US Constitution” James Madison, and John F Kennedy attended in 1935.
Among countless other famous alumni are astronaut John Conrad (one of a few men who walked on the moon), First Lady Michelle Obama, Senator Bill Bradley (Hall of Fame basketball player), actor Jimmy Stewart (of its Wonderful Life), F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, & Robert L Johnson, Founder of BET.
TV’s Wayne Rogers (Mash), David Duchovy (X Files), Dean Cain (Superman: the Adventures of Lois & Clark) and Ellie Kemper (The Office) are Princeton alumni.
Bruce Wayne attended Princeton (according to “Batman Begins”) and Fred Flintstone was a star quarterback at “Princestone” when he attended briefly.
The Princeton Cricket Club is looking forward to taking on its Ivy League counterparts, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, as well as other American College Cricket schools. – by Lloyd Jodah
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