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Pitchero Club

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Club History

The Edinburgh Academy school was established in 1824. Within a few years its pupils were playing cricket matches against other Edinburgh schools and cricket clubs. The matches took place either on Bruntsfield Links or at the Grange Cricket Club's ground followed later by games at Grove Street, Fountainbridge. The schools motto is Aien Aristeuein ‘Always Excel’ and the Academy has a strong reputation in academia as well as for producing talented rugby and cricket players.

In 1854 the school leased a playing field at Raeburn Place. Edinburgh Academicals Cricket Club played its first match the following year. Raeburn Place is shared with the Edinburgh Academical Football Club, founded in 1857, and is world famous for hosting the first ever rugby international in 1871, a match between England and Scotland, in which Scotland were victorious.

During the latter half of the nineteenth century, the game of cricket spread rapidly throughout Scotland. In the 1860's cricket was the most popular team sport in the country and the Academical Club's fixture list reflected this growth. The Club's most prominent players during the Victorian era were Leslie Balfour-Melville, Hay Brown, Robert Johnston, R. MacNair, Thomas Marshall, J. Speid, and H.J. Stevenson, all of whom won international caps for Scotland. Harry Stevenson was the mainstay of the club during much of this period. A skilful batsmen, he was also an extraordinarily effective lob bowler. In 1886 he took five wickets in successive balls against Craigmount. Amazingly, he performed exactly the same feat against Gala in 1894.

No cricket matches were played between 1914 and 1919, however the years between the two World Wars saw the club establish itself as one of the leading sides in the east of Scotland. Great players during this period included Rab Bruce-Lockhart, Gilbert Hole, A.I.S. MacPherson, James Stevenson, Ben Todd and Donald Weir - each of whom played several times for Scotland.

No cricket at all could be played at Raeburn Place between 1940 and 1948 because the playing fields were being used for growing vegetables.

After the war, Edinburgh Academicals (Accies) consolidated their position as one of the leading clubs in the east. The most celebrated player during the fifties and sixties was Jimmy Allan who won 60 caps for Scotland between 1953 and 1972. He also played first class cricket for Kent and Warwickshire.

The Club won the East of Scotland Cricket League for the first time in 1957.

There was further success for the Club in the 1970's. The Masterton Trophy was won in 1970 and 1974, and one of the proudest moment in the Club's history was winning the Scottish Cup in 1974. Henry Fairweather won 3 caps for Scotland as an opening batsman in 1971 while hard-hitting all-rounder, Dave Loudon, was capped seven times for Scotland in 1981 and 1982.

Nehemiah Perry, the Club professional in the early 90's went on to win test and one-day international caps for the West Indies. Nick Dyer, an off-spinner won 30 caps for Scotland between 1997 and 1999. The Club's record in the East of Scotland League allowed it to become one of the founding members of the Scottish National Cricket League. In 2001 the Club won the East League and with professional Steve Spoljaric, who played First Grade cricket in Australia, enjoyed success in the Scottish National Cricket League.

Stuart Moffat represented Scotland internationally both for cricket and rugby. Stuart has a first class average of 169, a score he made in the 2002 varsity match against Oxford University. It was the highest score by a cricketer playing their first match for Cambridge University since Test batsman Hubert Doggart made a double hundred in 1948.

Through the turn of the century, Accies have had a number of talented Australian and New Zealand professionals. Mick Raso who played in 2008/2010 has represented Italy internationally. Dan Rixon, son of Steve Rixon, Chennai Super Kings and Australian National Team coach, took 10 wickets against Gala in 2011.

Accies captain Andrew Cosh scored 185 against Penicuik in 2012. Andrew commuted to play for Accies during the 2014 season, flying from Windsor to Edinburgh, while working in London. Andrew is the grandson of academical Stephen Hunter Cosh MBE, who was the Scotland cricket captain and won 42 caps between 1950 and 1959. Andrew’s father, R.G. Cosh, was a feared fast bowler once dismantling Fettes College with a hat-trick, and his brother, S.G. Cosh, is also an Accie centurion.

Since 2007, Accies have played at New Field, the Edinburgh Academy’s sports’ ground, as the facilities for cricket at Raeburn Place are no longer fit for purpose. The Raeburn Place Foundation is currently involved in redeveloping the ground to transform it into a sporting destination worthy of its heritage. These plans include the reinstatement of cricket and will allow EACC to return to its proper home.

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