BCB Annual Awards Ceremony
West Indies World Cup selectee Davendra Bishoo and West Indies Women’s all-rounder Shermaine Campbell copped the Berbice Male and Female cricketer of the year awards respectively when the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) held its annual Awards Ceremony at State House in New Amsterdam on Saturday evening. Saturday night’s well attended ceremony was well organised and efficient and a reflection of Berbice’s cricket on the field in recent times.
The BCB, formed in 1939, is easily the best run of the three county boards and Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) President Roger Harper and batsman Basil Butcher were the former Test players present, as were past BCB Presidents Ansen Hazel and Malcolm Peters and national players Veerasammy Permaul, Royston Crandon, Assad Fudadin and Brendon Bess.
Several cricket officials, including Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Vice-President Bissoon Singh and former Chairman of the National Sports Commission Conrad Plummer made the trip from Georgetown while Butcher journeyed from Linden.
BCB Treasurer Anil Beharry called the proceedings to order while versatile 19-year-old Nermala Sewdatt performed the role of Chairperson with Tony Torch providing entertainment with musical renditions of, ‘We are the world’ and ‘Cricket in the jungle’.
Hilbert Foster, the Chairman of the Special Events Committee reviewed the BCB’s activities for 2010 and expressed disappointment that more cricketers were not present while Regional Chairman Zulfikar Mustapha challenged the Awardees not to forsake their education and said he hoped other Boards would emulate the BCB. Mustapha urged the GCB and DCB members to stop the ‘in-fighting’ and said he was optimistic that things would soon change for the better.
Presidential Advisor and NCN Berbice executive Fizul Jafferally said that, as Berbicians, the cricket fraternity of Guyana’s second largest County was proud, but as Guyanese the same cannot be said for cricket at the national level.
Jafferally, speaking on behalf of the Guyana Government congratulated the BCB for their continued hard work while Bissoon Singh, who said he was pleasantly surprised to be asked to speak at Saturday night’s function especially since he was not asked by the GCB President Chetram Singh, who is in the USA, to perform the duties of acting President.
“It is good to be here in Berbice and smell cricket in the air but soon I will be back in Demerara where you smell politics,” Singh said, obviously referring the public feud and court battles that are crippling Demerara’s cricket. Harper told the gathering that it was time for change in Guyana’s cricket and suggested that a criterion be set for persons wishing to take leadership roles on cricket boards since at present anyone who walks off the street and can get votes and can become cricket administrators in Guyana.
The former Test off-spinner challenged the BCB to not only produce numbers on the Guyana team but to also give Guyana cricketers who can produce at the International level.
“I was at the Berbice Stelling sometime ago and someone recognized me and offered to help. I in turn saw Basil Butcher who is a cricketing legend and offered to assist him causing the person to ask me who was that old man and if he was my father? I informed him that it was people like Butcher who has made you recognize people like me. I don’t think the young players understand the role they play in others lives,” Harper said.
Harper said that once you become a national player you become a role model if you wanted to become one or not and encouraged the youngsters to conduct themselves in a manner befitting a sporting Ambassador.
The Mayor of New Amsterdam Claude Henry and Plummer also addressed the gathering with Plummer saying the winds of change are blowing and if the local cricket fraternity do not match the pace of the change we will be left behind.
Plummer said he was impressed with many of the off-the-field aspects of Berbice cricket which help to develop its young players, while BCB President Keith Foster also spoke about cricket in the Ancient County.
Evans, Winston Smith and Julian Moore received their level two coaching certificates while 66-year-old former Berbice player Michael ‘Hyles’ Franco, who this year retired from Coaching at a national level, was honoured. It was disclosed that NCN has renewed its sponsorship of the NCN inter-zone under-15 competition.
“We (NCN) show a lot of cricket on TV and wanted to help a t the youth level. We thought of the Guyana Board but said no while the Demerara Board was worse. We are pleased to have supported the BCB and this year our sponsorship is even greater than last year,” Jafferally said.
While Bishoo and Campbell received the Berbice Male and Female Cricketer of the year awards, Zahir Moakan copped the Umpire of the Year Award, Adrian Amsterdam the Inter-County Coach of the Year Award, Winston Smith the Local Coach of the year Award, Albion the team of the year Award, Rose Hall Town Youth and Sports Club the Club of the year Award and Sewnarine Chattergoon the Role Model for the year Award.
Fudadin, Bishoo, Bess, Permaul and Jonathon Foo were recognized for their selection on the West Indies ‘A’ team last year while Campbell, Tremayne Smartt and Subrina Munroe were honoured for their selection last year on the West Indies Female team. Bess collected a special prize for making his Test debut last year.
Shimron Hetmyer (U-13), Shawn Pereira (U-15), Lloydel Lewis (U-17), Harrinarine Chattergoon (U-19), Steven Latcha (U-23) received Awards for being named the respective Berbice age-group cricketers of the year while Bishoo was named Regional cricketer of the year and Royston Crandon Inter-county cricketer of the year. Bishoo’s trophies were collected by his Albion team mate Permaul.
The wives of Foster and Beharry were also presented with special gifts for their contributions to Berbice cricket while Arif Chan, Akeem Hinds, Parmanand Ramdhan, Keirre Henry and Daniel Lewis were presented with medals after being named ‘promising players’ and ones to watch for the future.