GCB rewards outstanding performers; Hetmyer, Campbelle top list

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Windies duo Shimron Hetmyer and Shemaine Campbelle were deemed the most outstanding male and female cricketers of the year by the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) at their annual awards ceremony on Wednesday evening.

The programme was held at the Umana Yana and saw the attendance of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, Minister of Social Cohesion Dr. George Norton, Justice Cecil Kennard, former Guyana and West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, executives of the GCB and special invitees.

Hetmyer’s selection for the award came ahead of Keemo Paul and Chandrapaul Hemraj, both of whom made Windies debuts this year, and it was surprise, given he did the bulk of the scoring of the regional side in limited overs cricket prior to the recent series against Bangladesh.

Kevin Sinclair receives one of his awards from GCB executive Raj Singh

Campbelle, another Berbician, was the lone Guyanese on the Women’s World T20 squad, having been a consistent performer over the years for the maroons. Her selection came ahead of Sheneta Grimmond and Shabika Gajnabi.

The best franchise team went to Essequibo, who won the Three-Day League twice and the 50-over once, while Blairmont Centre Cricket Club was deemed the Club-of-the Year.

Corporate awards went to Hand-in-Hand Group of Companies, Dave West Indian Imports and Scotiabank.

Hand-in-Hand representative Howard Cox (right) receives a corporate award from Sport Minister Dr. George Norton

Prime Minister Nagamootoo treated the gathering with a festive reflection of cricket in his younger days, listing the likes of Basil Butcher, Rohan Kanhai and ‘Brother Permaul’ who brought uniqueness to cricket.

“I have seen cricket in all of its grandeur, part of our folklore and part of our life. I want to congratulate all the players who are carded for awards, I want to congratulate you for having excelled and having done well in your area of discipline and I encourage you to go for the top as you have an icon in the shining example of Dr. Shivnarine Chanderpaul,” Nagamootoo conveyed.

Minister Norton, who has the responsibility for Youth Culture and Sport, also embraced the cricketers for their achievements and gave a charge for continued success.

“Come 2019, I only expect greater things from sport when we cop every coveted title heading our way in the new year.”

Romario Samaroo, a young journalist from Stabroek News, who was awarded for outstanding service in the print media, may have delivered the feature address with a resounding message that gripped the attention of the audience.

Coach-of-the-Year Ryan Hercules collects his award from Andy Ramnarine

Part of the message from Samaroo was, “We must encourage the past generations to return to the fold and help build our cricket, imparting their knowledge and experiences into the current crop of players in order to have them develop.”

Emmanuel Nanthan, a Vice-President of Cricket West Indies, was unable to attend, but sent his remarks which applauded the board for having a solid structure, which has caused them to dominate regional cricket across the various levels.

Other awards went to:

Sheneta Grimmond (Most Promising Female Cricketer of the Year)
Chandrapaul Hemraj (Most improved male cricketer of the year)
Kevin Sinclair (Junior cricketer of the year)
Kevin Sinclair (Most wickets and MVP of Regional U-19 tournament)
Anthony Bramble (Senior regional cricketer of the year)
Mavindra Dindyal (Most runs in Regional U-15 tournament and MVP)
Chandrapul Ramraj (Most wickets Regional U-15)
Sachin Singh (Most runs and MVP for the Regional U-17 tournament)
Nigel Deodat (Most wickets Regional U-17 tournament)
Joshua Persaud (Most runs in Regional U-19)

Special service awards went to: Ryan Hercules (For dedicated and outstanding service as cricket coach of the year), Albert Dass (Dedicated service to cricket as a curator at Everest ground), Flemroy Lambert (dedicated service as an umpire), Lusignan ground (for their invaluable contribution to the development and conduct of cricket matches in Guyana) and Dr. Puran Singh from Barbados (unwavering commitment to the health and well-being for Guyanese cricketers, especially during their stay in Barbados).

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