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November 13, Atlantis Cricket Club of NY held its gala annual event at
the John F. Kennedy Plaza Hotel in Jamaica, New York, honoring USA
national men’s cricket coach Clayton Lambert, along with former Guyana
and Atlantis club player Vibert Durjan, and several of the club’s 2010
Pic (Right): USA's head coach said that blending of youth and experience was the best option for USA men's team
event marked the organization’s 44th anniversary as a cricket club in
the New York metropolitan area. The sold-out black-tie event saw
several in the New York cricketing community stepping out in style to
help the club celebrate 44 years of being…more than just about cricket!
Among those in attendance were the New York Regional representative to
the USA Cricket board Krish Prasad and Mrs. Dolly Prasad, along with
the New York City Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) program’s
Cricket Commissioner Bassett Thompson and the PSAL’s Administrative
Assistant and Cricket Coordinator Ms. Lorna Austin, along with American
College Cricket President Lloyd Jodah.
The evening’s main
honoree Clayton Benjamin Lambert, a former Guyana and West Indies Test
player and former USA player and now USA’s head coach, addressed the
dinner guests on some of the issues facing the growth and development
of USA national cricket teams, in a sports environment somewhat foreign
to cricket. Lambert cited some of the difficulties in selecting the
best eligible national team, as opposed to the “people’s choice.” He
opined that selecting fourteen players was a very complex and at times
frustrating task, based on the International Cricket Council’s
Lambert lauded the efforts being made
by the USA Cricket Association to encourage and support its national
teams, along the way. The former hard-hitting left-handed opener and
successful right-arm leg-break bowler said that despite a public outcry
for a more youthful USA senior men’s team, he felt that a blending of
youth and experience was the USA’s best chance for further establishing
itself on the international cricket scene.
lifetime membership of Atlantis, Lambert praised the club for the
strides it has made over the past 44 years, while reflecting fondly on
representing Atlantis on the field over the years, before moving to
“Darge” Durjan, a penetrative off-spinner and former Guyana national
player, was also awarded Honorary Lifetime Membership of Atlantis. He
lamented on missing out on representing the West Indies behind Lance
Gibbs, a phenomenal bowler in a field that had little room for more
than one exceptional off-spinner in the 60’s. However, the bespectacled
Durjan does not hold any grudges against the record Test-bowler Gibbs.
On the contrary, he reminisced about playing alongside Gibbs as a
member of the Demerara Cricket Club in Guyana and maintaining an
ongoing friendship with cricketing legends such as Lance and Clive
Pic (Left): A dance performance by Cashel Saffire
the evening’s other recipients was Metallica Commodities Corporation,
one of Atlantis’ main sponsors. President Steve Welcome presented
Metallica’s CEO Dr. Glendon Archer with a plaque acknowledging the
support of the corporation over the past five years.
however, was reserved for the 2010 cadre of young cricketers who joined
Atlantis and excelled on the field. This year more than fifteen players
under the age of 22 joined the New York based club, and in the club’s
tradition of attracting players from across the global cricketing
Atlantis President Steve Welcome noted in his
opening remarks the “big deal” that it was for Atlantis to support such
an enormous turnover in its player personnel roster in one season,
adding it was testimony to the club’s willingness to invest in youth
cricketers as the future national representatives of the sport in the
Leading the pack in receiving awards was the 2010 MVP
Prashanth Nair a leg-spinner who captured 23 wickets for the season and
the Bernice Bouyea Memorial MVP award. The 17-year old also captured
the Best Bowling Performance in a Single Match with figures of
5.3-0-16-8, as well as a five-wicket match haul, sharing the latter
accolade with fellow teammate Casper Davis, Jr. who also captured the
Reggie Aaron Memorial Most Promising Player award.
Standford secured the Highest Batting Aggregate and Highest Score in a
Single Match awards. Hugh Craig captured the Best Bowling Average for
the Season - 7.43 runs per wicket; Zaheer Saffie – the Most Economical
Bowling Performance for the Season – 2.13 runs per over, and Ileo
Freeman walked away with the Highest Batting Average for the Season -
56.5 runs per inning. The Most Disciplined Player award was earned by
pacer Trestan Messina.
Atlantis player Leslie “Tulu” Lewis was awarded the 2010 President’s
Most Outstanding Member award – reserved for non-playing and
non-Executive members. The award is in recognition of the dedication,
commitment and outstanding contributions made by an ordinary member of
the club, and beyond the call of a mere member.
Pic (Right): MVP Prashanth Nair receives his award from Coach Lambert as Lester Hooper looks on
President John Aaron, current Executive Vice President Courtney Legall
and Secretary Colin Sandy, received 2010 recognition awards for their
supportive roles during the past year.
of the dinner will go to Atlantis’ Shevonne Mentis Educational
Scholarship Fund. Since its inception in 2002, the fund has awarded
fourteen financial scholarships to college-bound students, as well as a
memorial scholarship in the name of Shevonne Mentis at the Borough of
Manhattan Community College, where Ms. Mentis was a Business major,
before perishing in the tragic events of September 11, 2001 at the
World Trade Center, where she worked.
Welcome noted that Atlantis strives to maintain its motto “…more than
just cricket!” through its community and humanitarian efforts, with
projects such as Habitat for Humanity, annual coat and toy drives, and
its educational scholarship awards.
The awards dinner also
featured the drawing of a raffle and the awarding of several door
prizes, in addition to a solo dance performance by a contemporary
interpretative dancer - Ms. Cashel Saffire, performing an Indian
Bhangra dance, before encouraging several of the well-appointed ladies
to join her in a national flag soca dance rendition.
Immediate past President John Aaron served as the Master-of-Ceremonies for the evening’s gala dinner and awards event.