Fresh from being named one of Wisden’s five Cricketers-of-the-Year at Lord’s earlier this month, Shai Hope earned another prestigious award on home soil when he received the President’s Award at Barbados Cricket Association annual dinner at Kensington Oval here Friday night.
BCA president Conde Riley made the announcement, triggering celebrations among by the guests who comprised several former and current West Indies players including Sir Charlie Griffith, Desmond Haynes, Cammie Smith, Floyd Reifer, Ryan Hinds, Kraigg Brathwaite and Ashley Nurse.
“We are pleased to announce Shai Hope as the recipient of the BCA’s President Award for this year,” said Riley, a Cricket West Indies director.
“As everyone can recall, Shai played two of great innings during a Test at Headingley last year, when that young and brilliant West Indies team beat England. It was an historic and memorable occasion and we are pleased to honour him.”
Hope made 147 in the first innings – his first Test century – and returned to post an equally important 118 not out in the second innings as the West Indies stunned the cricketing world with a five-wicket victory, chasing down 322 on the final day to mark one of the most remarkable performances in the history of the game.
The 24-year-old Hope’s heroics made him the first batsman in 127 years of first class cricket at the ground to score a hundred in both innings of a match.
Riley also made mention of Brathwaite who played a vital role in the amazing result, the 25-year-old opener scoring 134 and 96. The pair added a record 246 in the first innings and then 144 in the second innings.
Reflecting on his Wisden honour, Hope said: “I want to thank the BCA and Cricket West Indies for making the trip possible. They are the ones who orchestrated it and I was happy to be part of the event.
“It was a really grand occasion, being at Lord’s the Home of Cricket and I was just pleased to be a part of it. To get the award was a bonus.”
He added: “I looked at the list of previous winners, and it includes some of the greatest West Indians of all time. It’s humbling but it tells me I have work to do to achieve more great things for West Indies cricket.
“I’m still young in my career, I still have a lot to learn and lots more to achieve. The award is not the destination, it’s part of a journey to do well for West Indies and help us regain a place at the top in world cricket.”