Guyanese all-rounder Keemo Paul was named Windies Emerging Cricketer-of-the-Year, following the sixth Cricket West Indies (CWI)/ West Indies Players Association (WIPA) Awards ceremony.
The joint awards ceremony, held at the Hilton Barbados on Wednesday evening, saw a number of players, teams, and other factions of West Indies cricket being awarded for their outstanding achievements during the year 2017.
Paul, the 20-year-old Guyana Jaguars all-rounder, has been a recent component in the Windies senior ODI and T20 teams as well as the A team. The hard-hitting batsman recently earned his maiden Test call-up ahead of the Windies’ last match against Sri Lanka, a series the Caribbean side leads 1-0.
Apart from Paul, the Guyana Jaguars – the four-time Regional 4-Day champs, were named First-Class Team of the Year. Guyana gained another award when their Under-19 team were declared Regional U-19 Team of the Year.
Top honours, however, went to the pair of Shai Hope and Stafanie Taylor, who bagged the ultimate awards of being named Windies Male and Female Cricketers of the Year.
Hope, the elegant right-hander, also copped two other major awards: ODI Player-of-the-Year and Test Player-of-the-Year .Taylor meanwhile snared a second top award when she was also chosen for the Windies Women’s ODI Cricketer-of-the-Year.
CWI CEO Johnny Grave, in his summary remarks, acknowledged Digicel for its support to West Indies cricket for 13 years; and welcomed Sandals Resorts as the new sponsor on board.
CWI President Dave Cameron noted the increase in the number of players which has moved from 25 to 177 in five years and added that “we have the requisite number of players to compete. What we now need is to continue to ensure our programmes build capacity for all our technical and administrative officials to continue to consistently produce world-class players.”
WIPA CEO and President Wavell Hinds acknowledged the commitment of the players to broaden their skills set off the field. Hinds pledged his organisation’s commitment to continue with its programmes to widen the scope and reach of all its members, while working closely with CWI to facilitate growth for players on the field of play.
In her keynote address, Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle, said that “West Indies cricket is the blueprint to advance regionalism.
“In congratulating the work of CWI, the Minister wants the Region to work closer together with cricket to create greater linkages with tourism and the creative arts sectors.”
She also called for “sport to be more integrated into education, as the focus and discipline of sport, can help young people to make better decisions about their lives, while acting as a signal to young people to use their talent more effectively.”
Minister Caddle declared her government’s and country’s intention to support West Indies cricket and sees this as an opportunity for a “brand new relationship and partnership to move the cricket and by extension, sport, forward”.
WINDIES Cricketer of the Year – Shai Hope
WINDIES Test Cricketer of the Year – Shai Hope
WINDIES ODI Cricketer of the Year – Shai Hope
WINDIES T20 Cricketer of the Year – Evin Lewis
WINDIES Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Keemo Paul
WINDIES Women’s T20 Cricketer of the Year – Deandra Dottin
WINDIES Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year – Stafanie Taylor
WINDIES Women Cricketer of the Year – Stafanie Taylor
CWI Lifetime Achievement Award – Carol Whilby-Maxwell
WIPA Lifetime Achievement Award – Dawnley Joseph
First Class Team of the Year – Guyana
Regional Under-19 Team of the Year – Guyana
First Class Four Day Cricketer of the Year – Devon Smith
First Class 50 Over Cricketer of the Year – Roston Chase
Caribbean T20 Cricketer of the Year – Chadwick Walton
WINDIES Under 19 Cricketer of the Year – Kirstan Kallicharan
Atlantic/WIPA in the Community Awardee – Rodney Sieunarine
CWI/WIPA Outstanding Foundation Awardee – The Marlon Samuels Foundation
WINDIES Umpire of the Year – Joel Wilson