Memories and stories of April 1972 were remembered at the Harvard Sports Club, St James on Saturday night, when the Queen’s Royal College (QRC) first XI cricket team celebrated 45 years of a famous Intercol title.
It has almost been half a century since QRC’s famous 1972 Colleges Cricket League Senior Division national title which saw the team win the Cadbury-Fry trophy. However, one would not have known it was so long ago as members of the team, coaches and even members of QRC’s arch rivals St Mary’s College spoke fondly of the 1972 cricket season.
QRC upset St Mary’s by 31 runs in the semi-finals, and then trounced Fatima College in the final by 107 runs.
The 13 members of the QRC team honoured on the night were captain Afzal “Skip” Mohammed, Zafar “Zaf” Khan, Rajendra “Rajen” Sewsarran, Steve Hall, Oswin “Ossie” Moore, Valentino “Tino” Singh, Dave De Landro, Derek Ambrose, Ravi “Robbie” Maharaj, Ferdinand “Corey” Joseph, Waaz Hosein, Sebastian Pillai and Glen “Zab” Richards.
Mohammed said the victory over St Mary’s was as a result of QRC’s team spirit.
“I think the only reason we won that game is because during that Intercol tournament the boys were fired up. None of our players went on to play national or international cricket but as a team we had a cohesive force.
“I didn’t think we could make it until I met these guys, they were all fired up and I said ‘Well okay if these guys are fired up I think we can do it’ and we did it.”
Justice Prakash Moosai, a member of the St Mary’s cricket team in 1972, said, “How can anyone ignore the great, magnificent, extraordinary, distinguished, august, illustrious and noble history of the two oldest secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago.”
QRC’s current principal David Simon said he recently wrote a letter to the current QRC first XI football team, telling them to play sports fairly and in the right spirit.
Simon said the 1972 QRC team along with the other schools in the league played sports fairly and he wanted the current QRC football team to follow.
Simon said, “Lo and behold here I stand celebrating with a group of individuals who would have practised this (fair play). Not only the QRC members of that 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 the Peace, indicated that in those days you had not boys, you had men of honour representing institutions of class.”
Earl Best coached the QRC cricket team for the majority of the time between 1969 and 1992. Despite not coaching the team in the championship year of 1972, Best said the memory has not faded.
“It has been 45 years already since that day in April 1972 when this team crowned itself in glory. But almost half a century simply has not been enough to put out the blue flame that warms our insides every time that game is mentioned,” Best said.