POWERFUL West Indies T20 opening batsman Johnson Charles and female West Indies left arm fast bowler Qiana Joseph walked away with the Saint Lucia National Cricket Association Senior Male and Female Cricketer of the Year Awards.
This was the second time for Charles as he fended off any challenge from two-time ICC World T20 champion Daren Sammy and Windward Islands top order batsman Tarryck Gabriel.
Last Friday evening’s gala awards were held at Bay Gardens Resort in Rodney Bay, under the theme, “Collective Responsibility in Pursuit of Success”, and SLNCA president Julian Charles delivered the welcome address.
The Junior Cricketer of the Year title went to West Indies Under-19 batsman Kimani Melius. He defeated Akeem Auguste, Lee Solomon, and Garvin Serieux Jr. Melius is currently with the West Indies Under-19 squad in New Zealand participating in the ICC World Cup and to date he has scores of 78, 20, 60 and 21 in the tournament. This was his first time winning the prestigious award.
West Indies female player Qiana Joseph, who was a nominee in both categories, breezed past compatriot Nerissa Crafton, who captained the Windward Islands Under-19 team to capture her second SLNCA Junior Cricketer of the Year award. Minutes later, Joseph went on to win the Senior Cricketer of the Year award, ahead of Ashlene Edward and Roylin Cooper.
Six cricketers were also recognized for their outstanding achievements in 2017: Kimani Melius and Qiana Joseph for their selection to the West Indies Team; Akeem Auguste for his two centuries at the WINLOTT Windwards Under-15 Tournament; Taryck Gabriel for his century at the Senior Windwards tournament; Lee Solomon and Garvin Serieux Jr. for their selection to the West Indies Under-16 Team.
Patrick Felix was installed as the Association’s second Honorary Member.
The gathering was addressed by former Permanent Secretary in the Department of Youth and Sports and former CEO of the West Indies Cricket Board, Dr. Ernest Hilaire.
Hilaire said, “I look forward to the SLNCA putting in place the programmes that will take the young cricketers like Kimani Melius, Johnnel Eugene, Keegan Arnold, Akeem Auguste and nurture them through the respective age groups to become international cricketers and to make Saint Lucians proud.”
“We have the talent but I believe we are at a historic moment in our country’s sporting development in Saint Lucia where we can take that leap forward and have at least two or three players on the West Indies team. But we need to do it right.”
Meanwhile, the SLNCA is currently preparing for its Biennial General Meeting scheduled for today from 10:00 a.m. in Vieux Fort with the Elections of Officers being the main agenda item. At the close of nominations on December 27, 2017 for executive positions, the following persons were seconded for positions: Julian Charles — President, Shaun Alcindor — 1st Vice President, Tyrone Harris — 2nd Vice President, Eugenia Gregg — 3rd Vice President, Patrick Felix — Principal Secretary, Ashlene St. Marthe – Secretary, and Celestine Laurent – Treasurer.