The History of Pharmacy Cricket

Bradman Oval Bowral was the scene of the first match, Blues vs Golds in 2000. To launch this game and the commencement of this new pharmacy activity, a dinner was held at the ground at which seventy pharmacists, wives and other guests attended. The guest speakers were Neil Harvey and Sam Loxton, both members of Bradman's 1948 team The Invincibles. Pharmacist and past Australian Test Captain, Chair of the Bradman Foundation and Museum Ian Craig was also a guest. The trophy was The Wilkinson Cup.

The following year the same match was played again at Bradman Oval with the pre match dinner held in a marquee at the ground. Alan Davidson was guest speaker. This was a great event with over 100 present. Neil Harvey and Sam Loxton were also guests and we celebrated Sam's 80th birthday in grand style. This Blues vs Golds match is now played each season

The year 2002 saw the rebirth of the competition for The Chemists Interstate Cricket Challenge Shield. First contested in 1908 with matches played each year until 1934. Victoria had held the shield for 68 years without a match being played. NSW issued the challenge and the match was played at Bradman oval in April 2002. NSW were the winners. The pre match dinner held at Bowral saw well over 100 present with ABC cricket commentator Jim Maxwell as guest speaker. Ian Craig was guest of honour for the rebirth of the games for the shield.

The following year this game was played in Victoria when the locals won the match. Bowral was the venue in 2004 when NSW were the winners. Victorian Max Walker was the guest speaker at the dinner. For 2005, Wesley College St Kilda Melbourne was the scene for the next match. Pre match dinner was held at the college with ex Test bowler Rodney Hogg, Victoria Shield and one day Captain Darren Berry and cricket author Ken Piesse as the speakers. Victoria won the game. This match is now part of the Cricket Carnival.

The city of Wagga in October 2002 was the place for the first City vs Country match. Great country hospitality was enjoyed by the cricketers and a group of lady pharmacy students. The Trophy was The Sidgreaves Shield. The return match in 2003 was played at St Pauls College Sydney. The dinner was held in the packed college-dining hall. Kerry O'Keefe and Umpire Darrell Hair were the guest speakers. City won a very close game the following day. The match City vs Country set for Wagga in 2004 was washed out and was played at Camden in 2005. The Country team won in convincing style.This match continues as part of the Pharmacy Cricket season alternating between Sydney and Wagga Wagga.

The administration for the way pharmacy played cricket changed in mid 2004 with the introduction of the new entity Pharmacy Cricket Incorporated. This new entity with the support of the Pharmacy Guild and the pharmacy industry as sponsors provided a new era for cricket for pharmacists and pharmacy students allowing the necessary degree of autonomy and flexibility to expand and develop.

Pharmacy Cricket was launched in November 2004 at St Paul's Oval with a Gala match at which ex Test player Brian Booth was guest of honour. The Hodgson Cup was the trophy. The team captained by Peter O'Reilly won the game again with a close result. Queensland, not to be left out of the scene, was the place of the first mach against NSW. The ground of the Gold Coast Cricket Club at Robina with the Trophy The Pharmacy Guild Travel Shield. NSW won a very close and exciting match. NSW Captain Peter Mikhail taking for the first time in Pharmacy cricket 7 wickets in the Queensland innings. This match is now part of the Pharmacy Cricket Carnival.

The match City vs Country having been washed out in October 2004 was played at Camden in April 2005 with a close and well deserved victory by Country. The 2005 season concluded with a 'Black Tie Thank You' dinner for the sponsors held at the Sir Stamford Hotel Circular Quay. The guest list in addition to the representative of the sponsors and the cricket committee was a 'who's who' of cricket greats Ian Craig, Alan Davidson, Neil Harvey, Sam Loxton & Jim Maxwell.

January 2006 saw the introduction of the first and very successful Pharmacy Cricket Carnival between NSW, Victoria and Queensland played at the ground in the historic Camden Park Estate Camden over three days around Australia Day. The final night dinner in the Camden Inn was a great success with past Australian Test players Brian Booth and Peter Philpott speaking and presenting the various trophies and match awards. Sydney played Newcastle for the first time in March 2006 at the excellent ground of Shore School at Northbridge, this very successful match will be a feature of future seasons.

The 2006 - 2007 season included the usual Blues v Golds, City v Country & Sydney v Newcastle games with the highlight of the season being the four States Cricket Carnival played at the Gold Coast between teams from Queensland, NSW, Victoria & for the first time Tasmania. The final night dinner with our old friend Sam Loxton was a great occasion with the presentation of the various match trophies and awards. Victoria as the Carnival winner was the recipient of the newly expanded and magnificent 'Chemists Interstate Challenge Cricket Shield' for the 2006 - 2007 season. The first Pharmacy v Industry match was played at St Paul's oval in February and despite the interruption of rain the day was a great success.

The 2007 - 2008 season saw a further expansion of games played. The Carnival became a National Pharmacy event with all six States involved. In addition to the Blues v Golds, City v Country, Sydney v Newcastle and Pharmacy v Industry. Pharmacy played the Doctors in what turned out to be a one sided match. The Carnival saw the first century scored in a Pharmacy Cricket match, the City v Country match produced the first tie and the Blues v Golds match produced a 'hat trick' all bowled.

The 2008 - 2009 season in addition to the awarding of the two scholarships expanded and included the usual Blues v Golds, City v Country played in Orange NSW, the first Pharmacy v Dentists, Pharmacy v Doctors, the second and most outstanding National Cricket Carnival in Adelaide won by New South Wales, Pharmacy v Industry, Sydney v Newcastle and an 'Invitation' match in Bowral.

The season 2009 - 2010 produced one of our best seasons. The National Cricket Carnival was played for the first time in Perth Western Australia and was an outstanding event. To have all six states playing over the four days was a unique achievement and for the first time Western Australia won the final, becoming the National Champions for 2009 - 2010. The usual games, Blues v Golds, Pharmacy v Dentistry, City v Country, Pharmacy v The Doctors, Pharmacy v Industry, Sydney v Newcastle and The President's XI v The Invitation XI at Bowral were all wonderful games with some outstanding individual performances and close match results. Pharmacy Cricket again awarded two student scholarships, one to a student from Sydney University, the other to a student from Charles Sturt University Wagga.

The twelfth season of Pharmacy Cricket viz, 2010 - 2011 was highlighted by the National Cricket Carnival that was played near Shepparton Victoria at the grounds of the Mooroopna Cricket Club. The players from each state enjoyed not only wonderful weather but hospitality, the like of which, we have never enjoyed. The cricket club members were the most kind and friendly people and they made the four days of cricket an absolute pleasure. South Australia won the final v Victoria in a close game and became for the first time the Pharmacy Cricket National Champions for 2010 - 2011. Rain reduced the number of the other games from the usual seven to four. The Blues v Golds, Pharmacy v Dentistry, Pharmacy v Industry and the Invitation match at Bowral were played. South Australia in preparation for the Carnival played a match v SA Lawyers. SA Pharmacists won on the third last ball of the day by bowling the last SA Lawyer batsman.

The season 2011 - 2012 was again interrupted by rain. The National Carnival due to be played at Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast in January 2012 was rained out, also the match v The Doctors and Sydney v Newcastle were cancelled due to rain. Despite the loss of these games the Blues v The Golds, the match City v Country, played at the excellent ground of Canberra Grammar and the game v Dentistry ,all played in 2011, were successful. The South Australian pharmacists again played their games v the SA Lawyers. The match v Industry was a win to pharmacy and the Invitation game in Bowral, played on a cold day in April, concluded the season at which the presentation of the 'Player of the Season' medal was made. Pharmacy Cricket, as usual, presented the two student scholarships at $2500 each to two outstanding young pharmacists. One from Charles Sturt University Wagga, the other from University of New England. The first addition of a 'Newsletter' was emailed of all members at the end of the season. It is intended to make this a feature for the future. At the Cricket Carnival, in spite of the rain, for the first time CPE lectures were provided to allow the relevant points to be claimed. This is also planned for the next Carnival in Canberra. All the above games played in 2011 - 2012 are reported in the News and Results pages with photos in their section.

The National Capital Canberra was the venue for the sixth Pharmacy Cricket Carnival. Teams from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Pharmaceutical Industry played over 4 days in January 2013. It was unfortunate that Queensland and Western Australia were not able to play. Victoria by winning each of their games was named the National Champions for the season. The 2012 - 2013 season was a full program with all games scheduled being played. There were some excellent matches with close results and in the match Sydney v Newcastle Chris Georges playing for Sydney took 8 wickets. This was the first time a bowler had taken 8 wickets in any Pharmacy Cricket match. Newcastle however won the match by one run. The Blues won again, Country had a win, Dentistry had a sound victory, Pharmacy demolished the Doctors, Pharmacy won v Industry, Newcastle won their game v Sydney and the final match of the season played in Bowral was a win to the President's team. The South Australian pharmacists played their game in Adelaide v 'The Legends' a team from Adelaide University.

All these games are reported in detail on the news page with photos on the photo page.

The 2013 – 2014 season was disrupted as two games had to be cancelled due to rain and one other by bush fires. How true are the words of Dorothy MacKellar. Never the less, the highlight was the National Carnival that was played in Bowral over four days in January 2014 with  clear skies and  glorious sunshine. This was an outstanding Carnival concluded by a sit down dinner at the International Cricket Hall of Fame at Bradman Oval with over 100 present.

The Carnival games were played at Bradman Oval and nearby Chater Oval. Six teams participated which included Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Pharmacy Industry. In a closely contested final played at Bradman Oval, the Pharmacy Industry team
won  vs Victoria and now hold for the first time, The Chemists Interstate Cricket Challenge Shield’  which was first contested in 1908. Other games were played that included Dentistry which Pharmacy won in a one sided contest.  Newcastle won the annual game vs Sydney using a version of the Duckworth Lewis system because of a rain delay and South Australia  had a colourful match vs The Legions in Adelaide which they lost by a narrow margin.

The 2014 – 2015 season  started with the annual Blues v Golds match. This being the original match which was the rebirth of cricket for pharmacy back in 2000. This match lived up to what we expect from this contest with a win to the Blues off the second last ball of the day.The other games v City v Country and Pharmacy v Dentistry were not played, A match  Pharmacy v the Engineers  was played for the first time and was  a disappointment as the Engineers did not produce  a  full team.

The highlight was the eighth National Cricket Carnival played in Adelaide where the Carnival was last played in 2009.  Six teams participated. Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Pharmacy Industry and outstanding performances were recorded. The final played at Kensington Oval, the former club ground of Don Bradman, saw a close match between South Australia and New South Wales, there the latter won.  The NSW win was their first for six years. The Carnival trophy presentation dinner with over 100 present was held at the recently refurbished and now outstanding Adelaide Oval. Former Test player Ashley Mallett was the guest speaker.

Sydney v Newcastle match was played at the grounds of Shore School. Newcastle having won the last three games were keen to secure another win. In a match interrupted by a thunder  storm New South wales was declared the winner using the Duckworth Lewis system.

The match to conclude the season was played at Bradman Oval Bowral ‘The President’s XI vs The Invitation XI. Little did we know what an extraordinary conclusion this match would provide. Chasing a modest 159 scored by the Invitation team, the President’s team secured a win after being 9 for 106 with the last two batsmen at the crease. After thinking they had scored the required runs the batsmen started to leave the field, to discover they were 4 runs short. The game was resumed to determine a result. (Full report on News Page) The season 2015 – 2016 although successful provided some challenges. The National Cricket Carnival due to be played in Western Australia was transferred to Newcastle in NSW. The Carnival the 9th involved four teams not the usual six. This Carnival challenged each team to play every day and it was pleasing that each State won at least one match. Victoria prevailed with a win in each of their games to be named the Champions for 2015 –2016. The final night trophy presentation dinner with Doug Walters as guest speaker went well with the auction for a framed ‘Walters’ memorabilia print being auctioned for a substantial amount. The match v Newcastle was cancelled due to rain and the game at Bradman Oval, due to the ground being unavailable. The usual Blues v Golds match and the Pharmacy v Dentistry games were played. Noting the Blues won for the 9th consecutive time. The two student’s scholarships at $2500 each were awarded, one to a student from Tasmania, the other to a student from Canberra, both young ladies.

The 2016 – 2017 season was the 10th which the National Carnival has played and achieved what is a moment of history, not only for Pharmacy Cricket but also for Pharmacy in Australia. The final night Trophy presentation dinner was held in the Long Room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with 140 present and Bill Lawry as guest speaker. Never has a sporting event in Pharmacy held such an event with this number present, nor held in such an iconic place with a speaker like Bill Lawry. Victoria won the Carnival to become the National Champions for 2016 - 2017, following their win the previous season. October 2016 saw the Golds team win after a nine year wait with their win over the Blues. This is the original match played by Pharmacy Cricket for the Wilkinson Cup trophy. The match Pharmacy v Dentistry was replaced with a match between two pharmacy teams and was a tribute to Ben Thompson the young son of Steve Thompson. Ben died suddenly in 2016. The match Sydney v Newcastle played every year was cancelled because of rain with the match trophy being renamed ’The Ben Thompson Memorial Cup’. the last game of the season normally played at Bradman Oval was not played as the ground was not available.

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