West Indies players Devendra Bishoo of the Albion Cricket Club and Sabrina Munroe of the Tucber Park Cricket Club copped the two major awards on Sunday last when the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) hosted its Brian Ramphal Annual Award Ceremony after an absence of three years.
Bishoo took home the International Cricketer of the Year and Berbice Cricketer of the Year Awards while Munroe copped the Female Cricketer-of-the-Year Award.
The ceremony was well-attended by the Berbice Cricket Board Executives, cricketers, parents and stakeholders of Berbice cricket and was held at the Albion Sports Complex Training Centre. Among the special invitees were Attorney-at-Law Arudranauth Gossai; former BCB Presidents Anil Beharry and Malcolm Peters; V-Net Communications Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Safraz Sheriffudeen; former Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) Assistant Secretary Ronald Williams; and West Indies players Veerasammy Permaul, Tremayne Smartt, and Erva Giddings.
The BCB, during the ceremony, honoured the winning Under-19 boys’ team who were double champions at the inter-county level and the winning female team which won the GCB Female 50-Overs Tournament. The Most Valuable Player (MVP) of each team, Erva Giddings and Kevlon Anderson respectively, received trophies, medals, and a bicycle valued $18,000 each.
Five educational cricket posters were also launched as part of the Cricket Board’s developmental programme while Ruthel Henry, a long-time employee of the Board, received a financial contribution under the Board’s Charity Programme.
BCB President Hilbert Foster, in a comprehensive report on the performance of the Board since his election on February 18, 2018, described the last three months as a period of unbelievable progress and achievements. The Board during that period of time was able to raise over $5 million in sponsorship while close to 20 tournaments have been launched and numerous developmental programmes have either been organised or launched. Clubs in Berbice, he stated, would be involved in tournaments as never before at the Under-15, Under-17, Under-19, Under-21, Intermediate, Female, Second Division and Zone levels while school cricket would also return after a long absence. Foster urged clubs and officials to work as a collective unit to make sure that every potential talent is fulfilled.
Other speakers at the Award Ceremony included past BCB Presidents Peters and Beharry and ex- GCB Assistant Secretary Williams, who all praised the outstanding work of the three-month administration.
Guest Speaker, Attorney Gossai spoke on the importance of discipline and urged the Cricket Board to always put cricket first. The Attorney-at-Law, who spearheaded the fight to return Berbice cricket to normalcy, brought the audience up to date on the long fight to return democracy to the gentleman’s game in Berbice. Gossai also praised the work of the Cricket Board and stated that the President’s three-month report looked like a three-year report for most organisations.
The BCB also honoured Patrick Gray, Anil Beharry and Joseph Simon for their contributions to Berbice cricket while Coaches Julian Moore and Winston Smith were recognised for attaining the status of Level III in Coaching. For the first time also, the Cricket Board introduced a Role Model Cricketers Award segment. Members of the Berbice public were invited to vote for the cricketer they admired at the Junior, Female and Senior levels. Javed Karim received the Junior Role Model Award; Shabika Gajnabi, the Female Award while West Indies player Shimron Hetmyer took home the Senior Role Model Award.
The BCB would like to express gratitude to Brian Ramphal, GuySuCo, Rose Hall Town Youth & Sports Club, Bissoondyal Singh, Republic Bank, A Ally & Sons, NA Hamid, Demerara Bank, Shabeer Baksh, Guyana Beverage Company and New Building Society for their support. The major sponsor was overseas-based Guyanese Ramphal, who has donated $1 million to Berbice cricket for 2018.