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However, the lion’s share of Saturday night’s awards went to 19-year-old Antonell Atwell who also copped the Most Improved Player prize.
The Essequibo-born Thomas, who created quite a stir in this year’s Inter-county Banks Malta four-day tournament, especially against Berbice, was missing from Saturday night’s ceremony after attending a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) fast bowling clinic in Antigua. He, along with Reon King and Rayon Griffith were expected back in Guyana last evening.
The lanky Thomas, who has improved by leaps and bounds over the past year, captured eight first innings wickets against Berbice at the Blairmont Estate ground and also had four against Demerara at the Hampton Court ground in Essequibo. He also had creditable performances for DCC and attended this year’s West Indies Shell Cricket Academy in Grenada.
Apart from copping the Cricketer-of-the-Year award, Thomas, who has been named in Guyana’s 18-man squad for next year’s regional four-day tournament, will also collect a prize for a five-wicket haul in the Carib Beer first division competition.
Leg-spinning all-rounder Atwell received prizes for his batting and bowling in the second division competitions, another for being one of the club’s centurions and for being among those taking five-wicket hauls.
The club’s top batsman and current captain, Travis Dowlin, received prizes for being the most prolific scorer in the first division, recording four centuries and for being among the six players scoring centuries. The top bowler in the first division was Vishal Arjune.
Apart from Dowlin and Atwell, the others scoring centuries were Arjune (first division), Lawrence Smith (Under-19), Yogendra Sawh (second division) and Dennis Squires (third division).
Those collecting prizes for five-wicket hauls were: Edward Burnett, Reon Thomas, Gavin Nedd, Arjune, Lalchand Persaud, Atwell, Squires, Leroy Bristol and Sherwayne Smith.
Awards in the third division went to Kevin George (batting) and Sherwayne Smith (bowling) while in the Under-19, the awardees were Trevor Garraway (batting) and Dennis Squires (bowling). The Under-15 awardees were Jamal Hinckson (batting) and Chris Barnwell (bowling).
Long-standing members and former vice-presidents of the club, Lennox Hunte and Ian John, were honoured for their sterling contribution to the club and received the President’s Award.
The other President’s Award went to wicketkeeper batsman Derwin Christian who excelled while playing in Trinidad and Tobago and also did fairly well while representing DCC at the first division level. Christian’s exploits in the twin-island republic were mainly responsible for his club being promoted to the first division for next year. President Kirk Douglas, who initiated the awards ceremony last year, handed over the President’s awards.
A special lien trophy, donated by New York-based DCC member Sammy Parris, was also presented to Squires for his achievements during the year.
In his remarks, Douglas pointed out that the awards were initiated because of the rich history of the prestigious club, which celebrated 90 years this year.
The president said the idea was to mould the young cricketers of the club and ceremony was done at a social cost.
Douglas said he was quite pleased to see the young budding cricketers of the club and urged those who were not honoured this year to strive to be there next year.
Commenting on the performances of the players, Douglas told them they had done a fantastic job in keeping the flag of DCC flying high.
The president acknowledged that there’s need for improvement in the club’s facilities and called for support in making this a reality. He was however appreciative of those who were and are supporting the club.
Describing this year as a difficult one, Douglas envisages that 2003 will also be difficult but feels that with the necessary support, DCC will overcome the odds.
Among those in attendance were GCB vice-president Malcolm Peters and Cricket Development Officer, Clyde Butts.
The ceremony was chaired by Public Relations Officer, Michael Brotherson, while GCB secretary Bishwa Panday delivered the feature address. Vice-president Adam Harris moved the vote of thanks. (Frederick Halley).