The Napa Valley Cricket Club (NVCC) held its annual Player of the Year awards in February, hosted by the club’s sponsor Napa Barrel Project.
As the club took steps towards a typical full schedule in 2021 they managed to play nine matches from May through October. In 2021, the club also celebrated its 10th season with a Founders versus Newcomers match between club members held at the Napa Valley Expo in mid-September.
Despite the relatively small number of games in 2021 (the club has historically played 12 to 15 games in past seasons) there was strong competition for the four statistical-based awards at the recent Awards Night. Outgoing NVCC President, Sanjeev Joshua, also awarded an annual President’s award to a member who has contributed above and beyond to the club. The winner of the 2021 award was Pete Carson, a club member since the club was founded in 2012, who was honored for his tireless work behind the scenes.
The winner of the “All Rounder” of the year award was Karan Grewal, who took the award for the fourth season running. Grewal contributed strongly in all three cricketing disciplines – batting, bowling, and fielding – in 2021. Grewal’s numbers for 2021 were: batting – 9 innings for 192 runs with an average of 32 runs and a high of 56 runs. In the bowling department, Grewal bowled 46.3 overs at a cost of 244 runs taking 12 wickets with an average of a wicket every 20.3 balls bowled. In the field Grewal took three catches.
The individual awards for batting and bowling went to new members Dayne Buddo (batting) and Nick Martin (bowling) respectively. In the field, wicket-keeper Phil Bourke held on to the award for 2021.
Buddo’s numbers for the 2021 season – 5 innings for 176 runs with an average of 44 runs and a high of 64 runs – were impressive as he returned to the game after a number of years away. With the ball in hand, Martin bowled 37.4 overs at a cost of 182 runs taking 10 wickets with an average of a wicket every 22.4 balls, while Bourke excelled behind the stumps with 12 catches and two stumpings.
Bourke, who is the incoming Club President for the 2022 season, handed out a couple of milestone awards during the evening. Grewal becomes only the second player in NVCC history to surpass 1,000 runs, with his 192 runs in 2021 bringing his total to 1,107. Grewal joins a select group that includes only two other members, Bijoy Ojha and Martin Mackenzie.
In addition, Bourke recognized the century (100 runs in a single match) made by Caen Healy on October 9 against the Bay Area Lions at the Napa Valley Expo. That knock by Healy is the first century scored by a club member since 2015. Healy’s partnership with Raj Devnani in that match was 173 runs for the first wicket (a club record,) with Devnani scoring 89 runs.
Bourke paid tribute at the end of the evening to all of those who made 2021 such a successful year both on and off the field, and thanked outgoing Board Members Joshua and Sourabh Das for their contributions during the season.
The club now looks forward to 2022 and recently announced a schedule of 13 matches which will be played at the Napa Valley Expo, Kimberly Park in American Canyon, and at a number of ‘away’ venues throughout the Bay Area.
“It’s great to be playing this season from our traditional start time in April right through until October,” said NVCC Vice President Andrew Healy “and we’re looking forward to renewing our traditional rivalries against Marin CC, the Sonoma Gullies, and a number of other teams that we’ve played against every year since the club was formed in 2012”
The club has also announced that their annual showcase match – The Napa Valley World Series of Cricket – will take place in 2022 on Saturday, July 9 on the Midway Green at the Napa Valley Expo. The match is played amongst NVCC members with the two teams traditionally chosen based on the player’s country of birth or ancestry. The last World Series was played in 2019 and saw the Rest of the World team beat the Australia/America team in a closely fought match.
In addition, the club expects to tour outside the Bay Area in 2022, with a planned trip to Minnesota in late August, to play the Minnesota Royals.
NVCC kicks off their home matches in 2022 when they host the Sonoma Gullies on Saturday 25 June at the Napa Valley Expo. Details of the 2022 schedule can be found on the clubs website calendar page.
The club welcomes new playing and social members and hosts weekly indoor nets practice sessions at Newton’s Law of Fitness every Tuesday on Industrial Way. Details are available on the calendar page of the NVCC website.