National Cricketers Andre Fletcher and Afy Fletcher captured the top honors at the Grenada Cricket Association Awards Ceremony held last Sunday at the Grenada National Stadium.
Fletcher who represented the West Indies both in New Zealand and Sri Lanka in 2014 in two 20/20 series and topped the batting playing for the St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League was nominated male cricketer of the year, he received a commemorative plaque sponsored by Goddard Catering which was presented to him by president of the Grenada Cricket Association Dwain Gill.
Woman Cricketer of the year Afy Fletcher has captained the Grenada National Women’s Team and also represented the West Indies. More recently, in 2014 she captured the most valuable player award for her stunning performance with the ball, capturing a career best 14 wickets at an average of 5.86 including two six wicket hauls in the West Indies Women Cricket Tournament held in Dominica. Fletcher was presented with a commemorative plaque from former national women’s captain Nadica Mc Intyre, also sponsored by Goddard Catering.
Roland Cato who represented the Windward Island in the recently concluded West Indies under 19 tournament in Tobago was nominated GCA Youth Cricketer of the Year.
Last Sunday’s GCA award ceremony was however not solely about the three outstanding cricketers, it was awarding success in the game of cricket at all levels and showing appreciation to those who would have and continue to make a contribution to the success of the sport.
A total of six awards were presented to cricketers in six parishes throughout Grenada who stood out in their various competitions Among the winners were former national and Windward Island under fifteen captain Emmanuel Stewart he was voted Carriacou’s Cricketer of the year. Anil Matthew leading run scorer in the West Indies Under 17 tournament in 2012 was voted St Andrew’s cricketer of the year, Andre Fletcher was voted St David’s cricketer of the year, St George’s cricketer of the year was Preston Mc Sween, Obadele Joseph was voted St John’s cricketer of the year, St. Mark’s cricketer of the year was Micah Narine and St. Patrick’s cricketer of the year was Devon Smith.
Among the sponsors of the awards were Island Catering, King Elvis, KB Brokerage and Trucking Services, Daddy Wayne and Beacon Insurance.
Also awarded last Sunday was coach of the year this award went to Ricky Williams; the manager of the year award went to Rondel Baptiste, and grounds man of the year award went to Kevin Holas. The award for umpire of the year went to Andy Matheson, scorer of the year award went to Paulette Bolah- Hankey, journalist of the year award went to Michael Bascombe and club of the year award went to Beauregard United.
Winners of the various competitions held in 2014 were also presented with their trophies among them; senior inter parish men champion St Patrick’s, under 15 winners St. Andrew’s, GCA T 20 Knockout champion Idlers Sports Club.
The highlight of last Sunday’s activity was however the presentation of lifetime awards to four individuals who have given and in most cases continue to give yeoman service to the sport among them, former national cricketer Marilyn Nelson for her commitment, ambassadorial qualities and 32 unbroken years of service to the Grenada national team; Garvin Taylor, former president of the Grenada Cricket Association who to-date has given thirty five years of service as a cricket administrator; former GCA president Cecil Greenidge who among other things was instrumental in the revival of the Windward Islands School Games, the formation of the St. Georges Cricket Academy, and the National Lottery Authority; and former national cricketer and footballer Tyrone “Sampat” Harbin.
Addressing Sunday’s Ceremony, attended by government officials, representatives from the Ministry of Sports, Sports Councils and media representatives, President of the GCA Dwain Gill commended the members for sticking to the task despite difficult times, and the various sponsors for their invaluable contribution that ensured the business of the sport continued.
Gill noted that if cricket is to create any impact at the national level greater emphasis ought to be placed at the primary school level since according to him research has shown that children are more receptive to learning in their formative years than at any other stage of their lives. He went on to say that for the very first time the GCA U19 competition has attracted a sponsor that will facilitate Carriacou for the duration of the competition.
Coming in for high praise from the president was Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, Ministry of Sports and Minister Emmalin Pierre, Permanent Secretary Veda Bruno-Victor, ground staff, umpires’ association, coaches and all who contributed in one way or another.
Sports Minister Hon. Emmalin Pierre who also spoke on behalf of Prime Minister Mitchell commended the GCA for officially inviting him to a GCA function for the very first time and reiterated his willingness to serve the sport in any capacity needed that would result in the development of the game.
The Minister told the audience that cricket for the Caribbean is more than just a game, but a lifestyle, a symbol of regional pride and one of the region’s most unifying sports.
In this light, the minister said it would be negligent for the region to allow the game to deteriorate to a level beyond repair, and therefore she said the road to restoration lies at the national level requiring the effort of all.
Minister Pierre said the new executive of the GCA is in a prime position to revive the game of Cricket with the help of all stakeholders, she commended all past presidents of the GCA, and called on the new president to realize that the reality of cricket in Grenada is before him and his team, although recognizing that the team has started to deliver.
The minister noted, the ministry values highly the relationship that presently exist between the GCA and the ministry and pledged her support in working together. The minister further challenged GCA to take a look at the governance of the sport and ensure that it is in accordance with the modern trend of the sports
The feature address at the activity was delivered by Dr. Rudi Webster former manager of the West Indies team, mentor, political advisor, author of two books Winning Ways and in search of better performance and “Think like a Champion.”
In his address Dr. Webster said for the first time since his return to Grenada he has seen light at the end of the tunnel for cricket and cricket development in Grenada and pledged to do all that he can to help in its development. Webster said credit for these changes must go to the president of the GCA and its members, and the Minister of Sports for what he dubbed creating that harmonious relationship between the ministry and the GCA for cricket in Grenada. This change Webster said is like a breath of fresh air, and one that augurs well for cricket development in Grenada.
Webster who assisted the West Indies team in various capacities said the present situation facing West Indies is a complex one however the WICB he said needs to relist and realize their priority, place cricket, the players and the cricketing public at the top of their agenda. This he said would mean restructuring and reforming the board to moderate their passion for power and control, as well as their obsession for self interest and preservation of the status quo.