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Crockwell the reason I won award — Douglas

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Emotional moment: Douglas with his Safe Hands Award (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Allan Douglas Jr paid a moving tribute to Fiqre Crockwell, his late St George’s team-mate, upon receiving the Cup Match Safe Hands Award at yesterday’s prize-giving ceremony at Bermuda Healthcare Services, the award’s sponsor.

The St George’s all-rounder said he would not be where he is today had it not been for the encouragement of Crockwell, a past Safe Hands Award recipient, who was shot dead in June.

“I wouldn’t be standing here right now if it wasn’t for a man like you [Crockwell] who pushed me,” Douglas said. “I thank you so much.”

Douglas, who plays league cricket for St David’s County Cricket Club, also thanked the award’s sponsor and organisers, supporters from both Cup Match clubs and family members.

“This is a very proud moment for me because I have never won an award this prestigious before,” Douglas said.

He is the seventh St George’s player to receive the award and the first to receive it without taking a single catch in the annual two-day classic.

The award was originally presented to the fielder that takes the best catch but is now presented to the best all round fielder over the two-days of Cup Match.

The criteria was altered four years ago when co-ordinator Dennis Wainwright, the former St George’s wicketkeeper and captain, got involved.

“When I took over I requested to make some changes and it was agreed,” Wainwright said. “Up to that period the award was about the best catch and I felt that it should be more than the best catch because it’s an enormous prize.”

Douglas beat the likes of Jordan DeSilva, the Somerset captain, and Jekon Edness, the Somerset wicketkeeper, who both took three catches, the most in the match.

He was presented with $1,000 in cash, $1,000 in travel gift vouchers, cricket gear as well the Calvin “Bummy” Symonds plaque during yesterday’s official prize-giving ceremony.

“This year’s winner demonstrated a sportsmanship and outstanding fielding that went beyond catches alone,” said Dr Mahesh Reddy, speaking on behalf of Bermuda Healthcare Services.

The Safe Hands Award was first presented in 1998, with the “Bummy” Symonds trophy created in 2003 to honour the man who led St George’s to an unprecedented eight victories between 1961 and 1969.

Somerset all-rounder Janeiro Tucker, a relative of Symonds, was the first player to win the award and the first multiple winner.