CRBF T20 Birthday Bash a Huge Hit at Waverley Oval

28-Jan-2020 On Wednesday the 22nd of January, the annual Cooper Rice-Brading Foundation (CRBF) T20 Birthday Bash took place at Waverley Oval for the first time.

CRBF is one of Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club’s charity partners for season 2019/20, and is dedicated to funding clinical research into sarcoma, a cancer of the connective tissue and bone.

CRBF and the cause they are fighting for are particularly poignant for the Eastern Suburbs Cricket Club as founder, Cooper Rice-Brading, played his junior cricket at the club.

Cooper’s mission, conceived from his hospital bed, was to change the current trajectory of sarcoma and on the 28th of March 2017 Cooper launched the foundation which would proudly bear his name. Cooper tragically lost his life to sarcoma some four months later, only 18 years old.

While the CRBF T20 Birthday Bash has taken place at another one of ESCC’s home grounds, Trumper Park, for the last two years, it was moved to Waverley Oval this year – a ground which holds many wonderful memories for the Rice-Brading family.

The match, which takes place on Cooper’s birthday was contested by two teams: the Sydney Grammar XI and the CRBF Invitational All Stars, with the Sydney Grammar side made up of player’s and friends from Cooper’s time at Sydney Grammar, and the All Stars comprising of Cooper’s friends from the various forms of representative and club cricket he played over the course of a decade.

There were a number of Easts player’s involved, with NSW and Dolphins players Peter Nevill and Baxter Holt, who is a CRBF Ambassador, giving a hand with some umpiring, while Easts stalwart and England capped batsman Sam Robson took part in the high-catch competition at half time, and 2nd Grader Will Simpson partook in the match and as always, entertained the crowd with his aggressive batting style. It is of note, over half of the boys from both teams had completed their junior club cricket at Easts.

A number of celebrities were also in attendance, with Sydney Swans trio Harry Cunningham, Nick Blakey and Callum Mills present at Waverley Oval, as well as NSW Waratahs Jack Maddocks, who is a CRBF Ambassador, and team- mate Ryan McCauley, Giants netballer Amy Parmenter, with NOVA’s Wippa present to toss the coin before the game.

The game was a see-sawing affair, with Alex Glendenning putting on a show for the crowd with a number of balls going into the stands, however prevented from raising the bat by Swans star, Harry Cunningham. The CRBF All Stars XI won the match for the first time in three years by a narrow two run margin, despite a late cameo with the bat from recent NSW Waratah and Wallaby Jack Maddocks.

When asked to comment on the event, CRBF media spokesperson Mitchell Rice-Brading said, “Our family were indeed humbled by the outpouring of love and support to mark the very personal and important milestone of Cooper’s 21st birthday.

We extend our deepest gratitude to Easts Cricket Club, and in particular to Matt Coles, Peter Lovitt, Michael Quinn, Angus Simpson, Matt Lawrance, Michael Furlong and Groundsman Grant Anderson. We would also like to thank our outstanding fundraising committee led on this occasion by Libby Patterson, with the tireless support of Kirsten Arms, Claire Bonic, Lisa Scribner, Gloria Gapes, together with Cooper’s dear friends Alexander Magiros and Adam Pacey, Katie Hardyman Photography, The Todd family, and the 28 young men who gave up their day to play and in doing so, perpetuating Cooper’s vision. Coop would have been so very proud…

If you would like to read more about the work of CRBF or to learn more about sarcoma, click here.

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