A cricket club was started by William “Rotch” Wister in 1842 at the University of Pennsylvania, (Wister also began the Philadelphia Cricket Club, and with the Newhalls, the Germantown Cricket Club). A club was begun at Princeton in 1858 and one at Harvard in 1862. A cricket club was formed at Cornell in 1903 (though there might have been one there before) and Cornell played Harvard for the first time in 1904, and lost whilst UPenn defeated both.
Just a week ago Harvard hosted UPenn, and won. The 2 clubs entered the American College Cricket Ivy League Championship with a history of cricket rivalry, though UPenn seems to have been the stronger historically.
The Philadelphia Cricket Club, established in 1854 and in its current location from 1883, is the Lord’s of America – a treasure of American history, where the spirits of our early cricketers like John Bart King, George Wright,and George Patterson played what was the original American pastime – cricket ! American College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah reflected, “When I’m at PCC, I often just sit,think about, & imagine the cricket characters and history that took place here. Its a really special place for me.”
“With this Ivy League Championship we’re also celebrating the anniversary of the first ever International sporting event, the 1844 game USA vs Canada which was played Sept 25-27 in NYC. We’re honoring my brother who died in Jan 2013, by playing for the Colin M. Jodah Trophy.Colin contributed a lot to American College Cricket.”
So when Cornell faced off against Penn in the morning of Sept 28, in the first ever Coca Cola sponsored, with supporting sponsor Dish Network, American College Cricket Ivy League Championship for cricket it was more than a cricket game.
CORNELL vs University of PENNSYLVANIA :
Cornell University batted first, and with the dewy outfield found scoring difficult.Sinha Roy 22 & A Gupta 14 were the main scorers, getting only 1 boundary each, on the beautiful but damp outfield. Unsure was devastating in the field, getting 4 run outs ! Gavish Sharma took 2 for 7, whilst Unsure got 2 for 4 as the Cornell Bears made 79 in 20 overs.
Veteran Gavish Sharma, a Wharton graduate playing as an alum, and Ruben Abraham batted sensibly to overhaul the Bears’ total without losing a wicket. Sharma’s 37* came off 36 balls with 5 fours; Abraham’s 38* took 41 balls and had 5 fours.
Gavish Sharma (Penn) was game MVP. http://www.crichq.com/matches/66967
HARVARD vs PRINCETON:
Two more pioneering clubs (in US sports history) that were just restarted last year, took the field next to determine who would meet Penn in the Ivy League Finals.
Princeton batted first,and Captain Vaidhy Murti made 24 off 23 balls, with 4 delightful fours and coming late in the batting order, Naman Jain struck 34 in 36 balls with 3 fours., as Princeton managed to get past the century mark, 107 in 20 overs. Simon Lock took 2 for 23 whilst Danny Yetman took 2 for 17.
Harvard was given a good start by Tyrel Dat 15,and Manik Kuchrooo 22, the openers putting up a partnership of 44. However a batting collapse engineered by Yogesh Goyal, 3 for 22. Goyal dismissed the set openers then # 3 batsman Sher Tareen, who had scored the most for Harvard for the season at this point.
Naman Jain’s 2 wickets for 17 helped make Harvard 84 for 7 and Princeton was heading for anu upset, their first victory over Harvard. Danny Yetman strode confidently to the wicket, and with pulls backward of square, and steers to backward point, Danny struck 4 fours in his 18* to get Harvard to the winning total in 17.1 overs.
An amazing all round performance earned Danny Yetman the game MVP award. Danny only began playing the game a few years ago, mentored by his close friend Norris Guscutt !
FINALS – University of PENNSYLVANIA vs HARVARD
The ghosts of John Bart King, George Patterson, George Wright,William ‘Rotch’ Wister, the Newhalls and other luminaries of American cricket history must have been smiling as the brilliant sunshine heralded the Finals of the first cricket Ivy League Championship – Harvard vs Penn.
Penn’s opener celebrated the occasion by getting off to a rousing start, putting on 89 in 9.2 overs. Veteran Gavish sharma made 33 with 3 fours and a six, in 28 balls whilst Ruben Abraham showed a plethora of exquisite shots scoring 78 in 59 balls, piercing the field for 9 fours and lofting a six ! Previous club president Jay Dave contributed 18 as Penn set a massive total of 182 for 5 in thie 20 overs at bat. For Harvard Manik Kuchroo took 3 wickets for 35 runs.
Harvard never threatened the Penn total, with only Sher Tareen getting 30, off 35 balls with 3 fours. Penn’s Unsure was devastating with the ball, taking 4 wickets for 14. Roshan Rai got 2 for 16, and Meet Vora 2 for 20..http://www.crichq.com/matches/66997#inning-2
In the end, despite good play by Harvard, Princeton & Cornel, the University of Pennsylvania asserted the dominance they had back in the 1800s & early 1900s in cricket, over the other Ivy League schools and are the American College Cricket Ivy League Champions !
Ruben Abraham was declared the Finals MVP, and also the Ivy League Championship MVP. The Colin M. Jodah Trophy, like other Awards, since 2011, for the Regionals & Home & Away matches, will be presented during the Nationals’ Finals in Ft Lauderdale in March.
Highlights from the Ivy League Championship will be shown on TV Asia across the USA & Canada, at dates to be announced. Photos to come.