Kirk Edwards wins Barbados award

Bridgetown, Barbados, CMC -- Describing it as a “good feeling” to be named Barbados’ Sports Personality for 2011, new national captain and West Indies Test batsman Kirk Edwards has attributed his success to hard work in the face of constant challenges.

“It is a good feeling knowing that people recognise your achievements throughout the year and (it is) satisfying that the hard work has paid off,” Edwards told the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) website.

The 27-year-old Edwards performed outstandingly in his first year as a Test player, scoring a century on debut against India in the third and final match in Dominica in July en route to amassing 595 runs including two centuries and three fifties, at an average of 54.09 in six Tests.

He also scored 306 runs at the remarkable average of 102.00 in only two matches in the regional first-class championship, with a career-best 171 against England Lions at Kensington Oval.

“It is really what is within me that is coming out. I had to struggle over the years in terms of Barbados cricket being overlooked at times and, obviously, I had a difficult time with the media since being called to national trials at the age of 15,” Edwards said.

“So all of these things made me a strong person. I actually thank the guys for writing the negative stuff about me and putting me through that stuff at a young age.”
Edwards’ maiden Test century (110) went a long way in helping West Indies to save the match at Windsor Park after he fell for six in the first innings.

His other century (121) was in the first innings of the second and final Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur in October-November, followed by 86 in the second innings as West Indies won by 229 runs to capture the series 1-0.

Edwards rates the debut century - only the 14th West Indian Test batsman to achieve the feat - as very special against the background of wanting to prove a point to his detractors.

“The century on debut was more special because I knew I could play Test cricket. I did well and it was like confirmation. The second was satisfying because the public would have been thinking that the first was a fluke.

“I always get the feeling throughout my career that I am under scrutiny to produce. I am not viewed as talented or skilful by the Barbadian public so I have always had to do exceptionally well, which is good for me.

“After my first Test, Barbadian critics were saying that my real Test would come on the sub continent. I went there (to Bangladesh and India) and did what I had to do. Now they are saying my next real Test will be against Australia and England, so everything I do is a real test for me next. I guess the people love to see me being tested.”

Sun, 01/01/2012 - 10:40