Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
July 22, 2023 10 months

There’ll be a new name inscribed on one of the most famous trophies in Scottish cricket on Sunday, when the 100th anniversary Rowan Cup final is played between GHK and Prestwick at Hamilton Crescent in Glasgow.

The tournament started in 1923, 100 years ago, with Uddingston lifting the silverware, and since then participating clubs from across the west of Scotland have been keen to get their hands on the trophy.

GHK and Prestwick have never won the event as yet – though Glasgow High School FP’s won it in 1963 – so Sunday’s match carries extra significance in this historic competition.

“We at GHK Cricket Club are delighted to have reached the Rowan Cup final and can’t wait to contest this match against Prestwick,” Khizar Ali, GHK president, said.

“We couldn’t have achieved our wins over Helensburgh, Ferguslie, West of Scotland and Langside without the blend of youthful exuberance from the likes of Zainullah and Basit Sultan and the wily experience of Azeem ‘Thunder’ Akbar, Farzan ‘Fizzy’ Dar and GHK’s player or the season so far, Harris ‘Harry’ Majeed. That’s just to name a few – we have had key contributions from many of the team.

“Yet perhaps our biggest contributor has come from off the pitch as our great supporters have given the team an immense boost in each of the games at crucial moments. 

“It’s been great to witness local cricket matches played with such a fervent support on the sidelines. We hope to again have our loud and enthusiastic supporters in attendance at the final.

“It’s no surprise that in the final we are up against one of the WDCU’s most decorated clubs in Prestwick. They’ve truly had to beat teams from all over the west of Scotland with wins over Stirling, Ayr, Dumfries and Uddingston, and we look forward to pitting ourselves against them in the final that will be played with the spirit of cricket in mind.”

Ali mentions the cup runs that both clubs have had – in Wednesday’s semi-final, GHK comprehensively dismantled Langside, bowling their opponents out for 66 and then knocking the run chase with ease for the loss of just three wickets.

Prestwick made it through to the last four on July 12, when they posted a very impressive 157-5 versus Tunnock’s Uddingston in their semi-final, before restricting their opponents to 138-9.

Sachin Chaudhary, the Prestwick captain, said:  “We have never won the Rowan Cup despite getting to the finals three times. The whole club is looking forward to participating in the final this year, especially as it is the 100th year of the Cup.

“We have a brand-new team this year with most of the players playing for the first time in the Rowan Cup, therefore reaching the final is quite an achievement for them and well deserved.

“As a team the cricket we have played over the last few months has been quite impressive, and the amount of work the boys have put in at the nets in training and at every game is exceptional and I couldn’t be prouder of them. 

“I would also like to mention something about our opponents GHK who have played admirably this season and have put in the hard work to earn their place in the final. 

“This dedication has made them a formidable team and it should be a very interesting and close final.”

The Uddingston team that won the Rowan Cup in 1933. Picture copyright: Richard Young.

Richard Young, who won the Rowan Cup twice in 1985 and 1988 with Clydesdale, explained the importance of the origins of this great competition.

“Back in 1922, it was decided by the people of the Western Union that a competition could perhaps be organised for charity and fund raising in the aftermath of the Great War.

“After discussions, a chap named Rowan agreed to put up a trophy and a committee was set up for the competition to start in 1923, to be played by 10 Western Union clubs and a number of invited clubs.

“It was all about raising money to go to war widows and hospitals, as well as getting teams playing cricket midweek and helping the community, because a number of clubs had folded or were struggling post-war.

“Now 100 years on you wouldn’t believe it would still be ongoing and it is just fantastic – it is the premier Cup competition in the West.”

The final on Sunday is due to start at 1pm.

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