Wanganui Collegiate old boy Tom Bruce has lent his name to a new secondary school cricket tri-series beginning today in New Plymouth.

Frances Douglas Memorial College, New Plymouth Boys High School and Wanganui Collegiate School Year 9 cricketers will battle it out for the Tom Bruce Trophy in an annual series designed to lift the performance of players from each school.

Bruce is an international cricketer who plays in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) is also a first-class player for Central Districts.

The brainchild of WCS director of cricket Dilan Raj, the first of the tri-series kicks off in New Plymouth today weather permitting.

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"We asked Tom if we could use his name for this new tri-series and he not only said yes, but he and his family also donated a trophy. Tom grew up in New Plymouth and went to school at Collegiate, so was an ideal choise and he saw the benefits in what we were trying to do," Raj said.

The series will run in a 40-over format with the schools playing each other once during the year and the team with the most points claiming the trophy.

The first match-up on Wednesday is between WCS and Francis Douglas.