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Hassan, Moriah and Singh top ECCCC awardees

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By Avenash Ramzan

Top cricketers and contributors to the game were on Monday afternoon honoured for their outstanding achievements in 2016 when the Enmore Community Centre Cricket Club (ECCCC) hosted its annual awards ceremony.

Held in the auditorium of the East Coast Demerara club, the ceremony sought to highlight and recognise the achievements of the cricketers over the past 12 months, while serving as a platform to express gratitude to the large band of supporters of the club.

Satesh Jainarine (right) was adjudged the most consistent cricketer

The best all-rounder of the year, which is seen as the major award, went to Imran Hassan, who chalked up 413 runs and captured 12 wickets, while East Coast Demerara franchise player, left-arm seamer Gavin Moriah, finished with the most wickets- 28 from 13 matches- including a best of 6-18 against Paradise SC in the SPR 40-over competition.

Executives of the club and awardees share a moment

Promising young talent Rudolph Singh emerged with most runs- 434- and was also adjudged Most Improved Player of 2016, after showing considerable improvement from the previous season.

The best batting performance prize went to another East Coast Demerara franchise player- wicketkeeper/batsman Vishwanauth Ramlakhan- who scored 114 against Calcutta SC and 87 versus Fairfield during the period under consideration. Both knocks came in the SPR 40-over competition, which the ECCCC won.

The best bowling performance of the year went to off-spinner Chandraban Seemangal for his 7-35 in a must-win against Enterprise B in the SPR 40-over competition, while the most consistent player was off-spinner Satesh Jainarine, who captured wickets in 75 percent of the matches he played, and was voted the club’s Most Valuable Player in the two finals in 2016.

Nandram Ganesh was unanimously voted by his teammates as the most disciplined player, while Jainarine was named most promising player and club captain Bheemraj Ramkelwan most committed player.

81-year-old Narain Singh received an award for being the club’s most faithful fan
Off-spinner Chandraban Seemangal (right) was rewarded for his 7-35, the best bowling figures of the year

Special awards were also given to caretaker/groundsman Deolall Rajkumar, Treasurer Tahal Ganesh for his outstanding and selfless contribution to the club, and the club’s number one fan Narain ‘Uncle Nar’ Singh, who attended almost all the games during the past year.

Meanwhile, delivering feature remarks at the function, President of the club, Taajnauth Jadunauth, told the gathering that the club will collaborate with schools in the Enmore area to recruit new members.

He however, noted that while the year was generally successful, there were some challenges, some of which were internal.

“It would be further accurate to declare that the Enmore Cricket Club has been providing the people of Enmore with an avenue for recreation. Yet some people, who should know better, would not, even grudgingly, give us some recognition for that. But we will continue to do what we have to do,” Jadunauth pointed out.

He added, “My disappointment is twofold. One: we are not getting younger boys to come to the Centre, regardless of which sporting interest they may have. Whether the reason is school lessons, television or their cellphones, I am seeing a frightening situation. And I hold many parents responsible for that. Two: Some of our current players think that they are too big to be actively involved in activities to raise funds for the Club, but the same persons expect that the Club should carry their match expenses. And these are senior players.”

Jadunauth also addressed the club’s young membership directly, noting that only positive outcomes can be had from their continued involvement with the ECCCC.

East Coast Demerara franchise player Vishwanauth Ramlakhan (right) was recognised for two significant scores- 114 and 87 in the SPR 40-over competition

“Over the past year I have been pleased to see our younger members stepping up to the plate and I encourage you to see this Club as the Club which brought you to where you are today. The time will come when you will have to take greater responsibility and leadership roles in the Club’s affairs. You should not shy away from those roles because they will serve to make you better persons and good leaders,” he posited.

Caretaker/groundsman Deolall Rajkumar (right) was honoured for his consistent support of the club’s activities

Club captain Bheemraj Ramkelawan, stressed that the club’s mandate to rid the streets of Enmore of youths who continue to engage in unwholesome activities, has been met by several stumbling blocks.

“The environment that we operate under has become one of hostility. This is one of the reason why parents are reluctant to send their kids to the Centre and our club has being at the receiving end of this hostility. I dare say that this is as a result of lack of leadership from the other Clubs who operate here. A small group of persons are allowed to intimidate our younger members and for that matter new ones also,” Ramkelawan explained.

The Club captain further stated that in 2016, the club played 18 games, winning 15, a six percent increase from its winning record the previous year. The ECCCC also hosted a few fund-raising activities during the year, but was unable to stage the Inter-block softball competition, which will now be held in the first quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, the club will have its Annual General Meeting and elections of office bearers later this month, while there will be a renewed drive to increase the membership, even if it means recruiting players from outside the village.

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