Wiltshire Cricket

Fantastic achievements of 2018 celebrated at Wiltshire Cricket Awards Evening

The Ceres Hall in Devizes was the venue for the 2018 Wiltshire Cricket Awards evening; a wonderful event that brings together people from all different aspects of Wiltshire Cricket to recognise their achievements and contributions in one big celebration of all that is good in the county.

Attending to help present the awards was Brian White of Wiltshire CCC. Brian played for the county between 1963 and 1991, playing in 215 Minor County Championship matches and scoring over 9700 runs; two records that will likely never be broken.

Individual Performance Awards:

The evening started with individual performance awards being presented for performances in North v South district matches and/or county age group matches. Winners of these awards were:

County Boys Under 10:

Rhys Baker

61 v Dorset

Shawn Vithanage

101 v Pembrokeshire

Shawn Vithanage

4-34 v Dorset

Oliver Staff

4-26 v Pembrokeshire

County Boys Under 11:

Flynn Gunston

59 v Dorset, 131* v London Schools, 113 v Gwent, 51* v Hampshire

Sam Ashman

112 v Gloucestershire

Sam Ashman

4-13 v Somerset

Charlie Carroll

5-25 v Hampshire

County Boys Under 12:

Matt Falconer

52 v Dorset, 117* v Cardiff and Vale, 59* v Leicestershire

James Pitman

50 v Devon, 72 v Oxfordshire

Nicolas Viljoen

121* v Hampshire, 69 v Gloucestershire

Jonny Sadler

51 v Cardiff and Vale, 55 v Gloucestershire

Kit Blomfield

4-7 v Oxfordshire

Cameron Oliver

4-11 v Cardiff and Vale

County Boys Under 13:

Matthew Garrod

63 v Dorset, 61 v Gwent, 51 v Guernsey, 80 v Devon

Ben Howgrave-Graham

52 v Devon, 51 v Gwent, 63 v Gloucestershire, 79 v Bedfordshire, 67 v Guernsey

Tom Spencer

81 v Gwent, 59 v Bedfordshire

Crofton Keyes

83 v Gwent

County Girls Under 13:

Emily Smith

69* v Hampshire

Daisy Barrow

54* v Hampshire

District Boys Under 13:

Finn Fielder

59* v South, 96* v South,

George Lewis

76 v South

Charlie Robbins

62 v South

Liam Carpenter

60 v North

Fraser Hyslop

64* v North

County Boys Under 14:

Sam Giddings

5-27 v Devon

County Boys Under 15:

Ed Vickery

103 v Cornwall

Ed Wade

120* v Dorset

Ben Higton

5-19 v Dorset

Kian Chivers

5-56 v Isle of Wight

County Girls Under 15:

Katie Dolman

56* v Cornwall

Isla Thomson

60* v Cornwall

Poppy Sladen

4-4 v Dorset, 4-18 v Cornwall

County Boys Under 17:

Ed Wade

105 v Isle of Wight

George Edwards

101* v Cornwall

Jack Stearman

122* v Dorset

Jack Humphreys

5-48 v Cornwall

County Girls Under 17:

Rosie Pembroke

70 v Hertfordshire

Jodie Bounds

53 v Hertfordshire

Lily Day

4-13 v Hertforshire

County Women:

Katherine Mills

61 v Dorset

Rosie Pembroke

56 v Dorset

County 2nd XI:

Jack Haines

114 v Future Stars Academy

Jake Goodwin

240 v Herefordshire

Will Wade

151* v Herefordshire

OSCAs:

A big part of our awards evening is recognising volunteers whom the game simply couldnt do without. The OSCAs stand for Outstanding Services to Cricket Awards and at the awards evening we awarded five winners OSCAs but also recognised a wider group of volunteers. The winners in each category will go to the national event at Lord's on 9th October.

Young Volunteer OSCA - Alex Duffell

Officiating OSCA - Roy Pearce
Also shortlisted - Rod Bartlett

Heartbeat of Club OSCA - Owen Sheppard
Also shortlisted - Laura Nicholson, Julie Stoner, Jon Davies

Cricketforce OSCA - John Wilkins

Lifetime Achiever - Peter Robinson (pictured right)

All Stars Cricket:

Within our work at Wiltshire Cricket Limited we are hugely aware of the challenges that all sports, including cricket, face around participation. The game as a whole is experiencing drop offs in participation at certain age groups and it is our responsibility to try and ensure that the game remains relevant to as many people as possible  at all different stages of their lives. However, one thing we do know is that if we can inspire children early enough through giving them and their families a quality experience then we are more likely to see a lifelong affinity with the game developed. Not only that but if we can engage the parents of those young children in the game too then we may just see more volunteers, players or revenue behind the bar at our local cricket clubs.

In 2017, the ECB and its 39 Cricket Boards launched All Stars Cricket; a new programme aimed at inspiring 5-8 year old children to get involved in cricket through an 8 week programme that had been heavily researched and designed by the England Cricket performance department. Every child that signed up to the progamme received a t shirt, backpack and cricket bat and ball through their post prior to the start of their sessions and as a cricket board it has been the biggest work programme for us all this year.

The programme’s aim is to help cricket reach a new audience by making the game appealing to those who may not traditionally have got involved in cricket. The results nationally have been good, but in Wiltshire in particular they have been fantastic with 32 clubs and 1028 participants enjoying the programme in 2018. The programme will return in 2019 along with new formats for the post All Stars age groups to ensure we retain this wonderful level of interest that has been created by All Stars Cricket.  

At Friday's awards evening we invited the 2018 All Stars Activators to come on stage and be recognised for their outstanding contributions.

Women's Soft Ball Cricket:

Much like All Stars Cricket, Women’s Soft Ball cricket is a nationally developed initative delivered by us at a local level. Through this initiative clubs are provided with resources to run introductory coaching session for females wanting to try the game in a social and fun environment. This is then followed by the opportunity for these players to participate in soft ball festivals around the county. The festivals are great events that mix cricket with music, colour, food and drink. In 2018, we delivered 9 festivals and have attracted approximately 200 new participants to the game.

The introduction and success of both All Stars Cricket and Women’s Soft Cricket are great indicators of how the game is becoming a sport for the whole family.

Only a couple of women's soft ball clubs were able to attend but we still recognised them!

District Cricket:

District Cricket in Wiltshire is an important part of our player pathway. For the past six years we have run coaching programmes for under 10s, 11s, 13s and 15s in each of our five districts. This coaching programme has then been followed in the Spring with trials to select district squads for the summer matches. In 2018, we changed our district structure slightly to the following:

  • 4 districts at under 10s and 11s playing T12 festivals at the start of May and then round robin fixtures throughout the season
  • 4 districts at under 13s playing 2 x T12 festivals followed by a North v South under 13 series in second half of summer
  • A north and South ‘Ashes style’ series at under 15s

At the awards evening, the teams from our various competitions were recognised and presented with medals:

District T12 Festival Winners:

  • Under 10s – SOUTH
  • Under 11s – SOUTH
  • Under 13s Festival 1 – NORTH EAST
  • Under 13s Festival 2 – NORTH EAST

District Round Robin Winners:

  • Under 10s – NORTH EAST
  • Under 11s – MID WILTS
  • Under 13s North v South series – NORTH
  • Under 15s North v South series – NORTH

County Age Group Player of the Year:

A really important part of the evening is to recognise the outstanding performers over the course of the season for their respective county age groups. In terms of a review of the season it was a successful season for women and girls cricket in Wiltshire, with particular highlights being our under 13s winning 8 out of their 9 games, the under 15s winning their ECB Championship group and the under 17s also winning their group. To perform so well across all age groups is a credit to the work of our coaches and players, and to the how the female game continues to grow.

Within boys age group cricket, results were positive across all age groups with a win percentage of 58% - our best ever performance, with particular highlights being the under 14 success in qualifying for A division cricket in 2019, the under 15s narrowly missing out on winning their ECB competition group and the 2nd XI winning the 2nd XI competition in which they play.

Players of the year:

  • Girls Under 13s – Emily Smith
  • Girls Under 15s – Katie Dolman (pictured right and above)
  • Girls Under 17s – Lily Day
  • Women – Katherine Mills
  • Boys Under 10s – Thomas Felstead
  • Boys Under 11s – Flynn Gunston (pictured right)
  • Boys Under 12s – Kit Blomfield
  • Boys Under 13s – Matthew Garrod
  • Boys Under 14s – Harry Robbins
  • Boys Under 15s – Ed Vickery
  • Boys Under 17s – James Wade
  • 2nd XI – Jake Goodwin

Wiltshire CCC Awards:

As mentioned earlier, it was wonderful to have Brian White present. Brian is the County Cricket Club's Treasurer and so as well as being there to present the awards, Brian was also representing Wiltshire CCC. Their award winners for 2018 were:

  • Young Player of the year - Luke Evans
  • Player of the year - Tahir Afridi

Wiltshire Cricketer of the Year:

As is tradition, the evening concluded with the most prestigious award being handed out. Here is the summary of the 2018 Wiltshire Cricketer of the Year as was read out on the evening....

This particular player has always been a regular county age group player within his own age group, regularly contributing with bat and in recent seasons the ball too, having also regularly kept wicket over the years!

However, the 2018 season was very much a coming of age season. Having been involved in the Emerging Player Programme during the winter, he was already on the radar and as such appearances for the county 2nd XI as well as for the county boys under 17s were awarded. In the under 17s, Jack’s highlight performance came against Dorset where he scored 122* to lead the team to their first championship win of the season.

For the county 2nd XI, in his first year of playing for them, Jack also became a regular and consistent performer with both bat and ball where he often played as one of the youngest players in the team.

Such was Jack’s rising stock within the county, that his all round game and consistent performances caught the attention of his club side, South Wilts, where he finished the season with a regular position in the club 1st XI, having started the season in the 4th XI. In fact his season started with 145* in the 4ths, followed a week later with 117* in the 3rds. The season culminated with a magnificent 108 batting at 3 for the club’s 1st XI in their penultimate league match of the season. To progress from a club 4th XI to the highest level of club cricket, and score a 100 in the process, within one season is a remarkable achievement.

To cap this wonderful season, Jack was righty awarded with his debut for Wiltshire in their final match of the season. He played in their 3 day match against Oxfordshire where he scored 9 and 25 in the two innings; very much showing that it is an environment in which he is at home.

It is fair to say that this year’s award for Wiltshire cricketer of the year is very much in recognition for someone who has progressed beyond all expectations within such a short space of time. His rise within one season is quite remarkable and there’s certainly a bright cricketing future ahead.

The Wiltshire Cricketer of the year for 2018 is Jack Stearman

Wiltshire Cricket sends out our congratulations and thanks to all award winners and volunteers who were recognised at the Awards evening. 2018 was a fantastic year thanks to the contributions made by all. Our thanks go to Helen Dolman for her assistance in running the awards evening and to Alex Muse for covering the event on social media and photographing all award winners.