By James Persaud
If it was going to be a long night, at the least no one leaves before the winner of the New York Softball Cricket League 2011 cricketer of the year was announced. It was a night when the program got started a half hour late, but this gave the guests extra time to enjoy their dinner.

Daniel Peters division II MVP (from left), Pooran Beria 2011 Cricketer Of The Year, Brian Maniram division I MVP and NYSCL President Eric Ferrier.

It was the usual large crowd of cricketers along with their family and friends coming out to support and cheer them along as they were rewarded for their outstanding performances during the 2011 season. Some use this time to make new friends or just to do some early recruiting for the next season.

The program got started with Mr. Vick Siwlal making the welcoming remarks, he then asked the guests to take a moment of silence in respect of all the NYSCL members and family who passed during the season.

NYSCL President Mr. Eric Ferrier then gave his state of the league remarks and he said the league has made great improvements but there are always avenues where more can be done.  He reminds the members of the slow economy and where the sponsors themselves are cutting back. He said that the league will continues to follow the path of development and making softball cricket more fun.

The President gave a special thank you to the league’s umpires, many who were on hand and he commends them for their services to the league.  Special awards were given out to umpires Mr. Desmond Gomes and Mr. Sahadeo Persaud. Ravi Etwaroo of Cricket Zone and Trophy World received an award for his contributions and for supporting the league.

The NYSCL took two teams to Guyana about six weeks ago and the main sponsor for this tour was Hafeez Ally of Rockaway Car Service and Roti Shop, a plaque was presented to him for his sponsorship. Special thanks were given to all of the New York Parks departments’ personnel who were present, for their continued support and dedication for making softball cricket possible in the local community.

Eric Ferrier and James Persaud shared the Master of Ceremony duty; as the names of the sponsors and the awardees were called out the hall erupt in loud cheers from different parts depending where your support bases were. Half way through a ten minutes intermission was taken so that the crowd could get a refill on their refreshments.

A special trophy was awarded to Jerrol Sukhu of Royal Challengers for his outstanding batting in the 2011 season. This is an award that the league gives out each season to a player who has shown great improvements or has demonstrated that he has plenty to offer to the game. At about 11:40pm it was down to the last big three awards, the divisions I and II most valuable players and the 2011 cricketer of the year.

The big three started with the division II most valuable player and after the ballots were casted; one young man from a first year team Golden Stars was standing tall. And by all means he is tall and he had the numbers to represent himself. He is one of the leading batsmen in division II with 485 runs and a total of 35 wickets, the winner are Daniel Peters.

In the division I a few players were juggling for the position but in the end the votes were casted for Brian Maniram of Goodfellas. Maniram one of the leading batsman in division I cricket, he has played for the new Goodfellas team where he is getting a lot of bowling. He has developed into an all rounder and has taken 21 wickets and scored 680 runs.

Pooran Beria, a young flamboyant and an energizer to any cricket team has had a good year; he began by scoring two centuries in the 2011 Florida Cup. He is one of the leading batsmen in Inter States cricket and for his Hustlers team. He scored 717 runs and taken 18 wickets in the three major NYSCL 2011 competitions.

The writer is the Secretary of NYSCL and I have being going to these awards nights for many years and I used to sit in those same seats like you in the beginning. I have work my way up and now find myself many times on stage. Every year I look at people getting these special awards and saw many different reactions.

But something special happen this last Saturday night as I called out the runs and wickets and finale called the name of the winner of division II most valuable player name Mr. Daniel Peters. I saw a young man that really appreciate what he was about to get, he walked briskly to the stage and you can see excitement in his face.

He took his prize from the President and said thank you sir and then he put both hands on his prize and said those golden words “Thank God”. Here we had a young man who was really appreciating what was happening and was glad to be a part of it. It makes me feel as thought I was at the Oscars Awards where the stars would thank their parents and god.

Reactions like these gave me encouragement to wanting to help and the feeling that there are people that appreciating what you are doing. Kudos to you young man, Mr. Peters you are a gentleman and you make a good cricketer.

The party was a great success as the members, supporters and sponsors all had a good time and dance to the music of deejay Brian until 2:30am. The dinner was catered by Express Roti of Jamaica Avenue, and special thanks to all the other people who have made donations.

On behalf of the league I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the people who have done their part even if it was big or small in making this event a success. The league will continue to depend on your support in the future.

The NYSCL Executives and Committee members, we all wish you, your family and friends all the best for the holiday season and a Happy New Year.