London Metro denied Sussex Sharks a league and cup double when they secured the BCEW Primary Club Heindrich Swanepoel Cup for a record 18th time.
The final took place at Northamptonshire’s Wantage Road ground exactly a month before the tenth anniversary of the passing of Heindrich, after whom the competition is named and who played for England and was such a pioneer of VI cricket.
Having been put into bat, Metro reached 203 for 6 off their 30 overs, thanks in large part to a cup final record stand of 139 for the third wicket between Nick Ebbeck (90) and Prem Sellathurai.
Sharks got off to a brisk start but Metro’s totally blind fielders stepped up with Amit Amin taking two catches, including the captain Dan Field. Alan Turnbull took a screamer to dismiss Si Ledwith.
Sussex had reached 144 for 6 midway through the 25th over before losing their last four wickets in 13 balls. Mo Ghalib finished with four for 11 from his six overs. Ebbeck was named partially sighted man of the match and Amin picked up the totally blind award.
“BCEW would like to thank the Primary Club for continuing to fund this competition, the final of which is still considered blind cricket’s blue riband event,” said Dave Gavrilovic, vice chair of Blind Cricket England & Wales. “Grateful thanks also goes to Jim Hawkins, Jonathan Taylor, Derek Styman and the team at Northamptonshire Cricket for hosting the final so terrifically, especially as they had agreed to host the match at short notice after the planned venue fell through.”
Hosted at Hambledon
The South and West Regional T20 final took place in the historic surroundings of Broadhalfpenny Down at Hambledon, the cradle of cricket. The match – between Dorset Dolphins and Surrey – formed part of the 250th anniversary celebrations of Broadhalfpenny Down, where first-class cricket began in 1772 with a three-day match between Surrey and Kent.
Surrey were too strong for Dorset, for whom this was a T20 debut because their semi-final against Hampshire was a walkover. Tim McKenzie top-scored with 53 in the Dolphins’ 134 all out and Surrey wasted little time in getting their chase underway. They reached 50 inside four overs and cantered home after 13.1 overs with only one wicket down. Shaqir Iqbal hit 50 off only 25 balls.
And the winner is…
Northants’ David Howells, 19, was named Partially Sighted Player of the Year and retained the Partially Sighted Fielder of the Year award as the Steelbacks were the biggest winners in BCEW’s National Level Awards, while Kent Spitfires trebled the number of awards their club have ever won.
Dave Daniels retained Total Player of the Year following a phenomenal season with the ball, his teammates Mark Oliphant (Total Fielder of the Year) and Alex Towers (Partially Sighted Bowler of the Year for his prominent role in Sussex’s National League title win) meant Sussex earned three awards.
It was also a successful season for Lancashire Lions as Tahseen Sabir, the top run scorer in VI cricket this season, won Partially Sighted Batter of the Year, while Sheraz Chohan won Low Partial Player of the Year for a record fifth time.
Lois Turner of Surrey VICC was again the stand out candidate as she won Women’s Player of the Year for the sixth time.
Roger Barker was awarded the Charles Ronayne Award for Outstanding Contribution to VI Cricket, as well as being one of BCEW’s top umpires and travelling all over the country to officiate matches. Roger has also taken on match manager and match referee roles in recent seasons.
BCEW ROLL OF HONOUR
Partially Sighted Player of the Year
David Howells (Northants Steelbacks)
Total Player of the Year
Dave Daniels (Sussex Sharks)
Partially Sighted Batsman of the Year
Tahseen Sabir (Lancashire Lions)
Total Batsman of the Year
Amin Afshari (Kent Spitfires)
Partially Sighted Bowler of the Year
Alex Towers (Sussex Sharks)
Total Bowler of the Year
Mark Turnham (Northants Steelbacks)
Most Promising Player of the Year
Tom Barton (Kent Spitfires)
Partially Sighted Fielder of the Year
David Howells (Northants Steelbacks)
Total Fielder of the Year
Mark Oliphant (Sussex Sharks)
Wicketkeeper of the Year
Gerald Porter (Northants Steelbacks)
Women’s Player of the Year
Lois Turner (Surrey VICC)
The Charles Ronayne Award for Outstanding Contribution to VI Cricket
Umpire of the Year
Scorer of the Year
BCEW National League Div 1
BCEW National League Div 2
BCEW Primary Club Heindrich Swanepoel Cup
David Townley T20 Cup