‘Keeper is top St Mary’s club cricketer
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday article.
Moruga, Trinidad - Wicket-keeper batsman Brandon Williams was adjudged “Cricketer of the Year” when the St Marys’ Superstars Sport Club of Moruga held their 25th anniversary Presentation of Awards function on Saturday.
Williams took 23 wickets at an average of 15.00; scored 475 runs at an average of 22.62 including an undefeated 110 against Santa Maria in the South East Zone Championship League competition and also claimed 16 dismissals behind the wicket.
He stumped his rivals for the honour after being named in the “Five Cricketers of the Year” which also included allrounder Roger Sambury, star batsman Larry Ramlakhan, Devon Boyce, the club’s top wicket-taker; and the versatile Faoud Bassarath who were all celebrated for their significant contribution to the club’s success during the 2013 season.
The function, which was well attended, was held at the spacious St Mary’s Government School Hall and delivering the feature address was Justice Prakash Moosai, a former Trinidad and Tobago cricket team captain and elegant left-handed batsman.
Among those who attended the function were members of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (T&TCB) led by first vice-president Dr Allen Sammy, third vice president Patrick Rampersad, general secretary Arjoon Ramlal, nominated executive member Baldath Mahabir, Chief Executive Officer Suruj Ragoonath, Director of Cricket Operations Dudnath Ramkessoon and Women’s Association president Jocelyn Francois-Opadeyi, Ann Browne-John, Monica Hylton-Sobers and Ingrid Maxwell.
Also bringing greetings were chairman of the Princes Town Regional Corporation Aiknath Singh, Councillor Nathalia Mendez (Hindustan/St Mary’s), Samlal Sookoo of the neighbouring Renown Sports Club and Kelvin Mohammed, chairman South East Zonal Council of the T&TCB.
Also present was Parasram Singh, the newly elected president of the Umpires and Scorers’ Council.
Perhaps St Mary’s Superstars Sports Club’s most recognisable face is Azim Bassarath, president of the T&T Cricket Board, who together with Mansingh Singh formed the club a quarter of a century ago.
They did so at the invitation of then South East Zone officials Alston Abraham and Selwyn McKnight after receiving assurances from Bassarath that every effort will be made to field a team in their competitions.
As a player and later as a qualified umpire, Bassarath would later assume leadership of the national cricket organisation and has been president of the T&TCB for the past five years and was re-elected last October for a three-year term of office.
On Saturday night both Bassarath and Singh were presented with awards for their pioneering efforts in establishing St Mary’s Superstars Sports Club as a driving force in the well-knit rural community not only in the sport of cricket but also for organising and commemorating cultural and religious events in the village.
Also acknowledged was the continuing supportive and leadership role played by the Bassarath family in keeping the club’s flag flying high and several members were also presented with awards for their ongoing contribution.
Apart from T&TCB president Bassarath, who along with Deonarine Singh have been president in their club’s history, young Zahid Bassarath has also distinguished himself as a regional umpire.
Assistant secretary Faoud Bassarath gave a short history of their club pointing out that Shaheed Bassarath, brother of Azim had the distinction of claiming five wickets in an over which also included a dropped catch off his fifth ball in 1990.
He also related the heroics of wicketkeeper Curtly Guevero who took eight wickets in eight balls against Moruga Cricket Club in 2003 which after being 47 without loss were routed for 53.
Also standing out in the Superstars’ history is Isaac Nicholas who hit six sixes in an over in a T20 match against Santa Maria in 2010. Bassarath said apart from the men, St Mary’s was actively involved in promoting women’s cricket also and their members are currently involved in the windball format of the game.
He said the club has formed valuable partnerships with several former national cricketers playing under the banner of a touring team and have also had the pleasure of hosting the national Under-15 team.
They have worked closely with a team of coaches including Kumar Rampat, a West Indies Cricket Board Territorial Development Officer (TDO), Ganesh Mahabir, Baldath Mahabir and former outstanding WI opening batsman Gordon Greenidge of Barbados.
The club’s assistant secretary said St Mary’s was also proud of the young generation who are making use of the opportunities presented to them to develop in a holistic manner and look set on making a positive contribution to the community and nation.
In this regard among those receiving awards was National Spelling Bee champion Kyle Mansingh, a member of the St Mary’s Government School team which reached the final of the 2013 National Primary Schools Cricket League .
Also performing at the function was the school’s steelband whose musicians placed second on last year’s national primary schools competition. Bassarath also mentioned that the reigning schools calypso monarch also attended the same School.