TWO members of the volunteer army that make cricket happen in Devon have been nominated for a prestigious award honouring the game’s unsung heroes.
Jackie Baker from Torquay CC and Charlie Andrews of Thorverton have been shortlisted for Cricketermagazine’s annual LV=Insurance Pride of Cricket Awards.
A judging panel has whittled the entry list down to a shortlist of 10 and asked the wider cricket community to vote for their winner. Votes are cast on-line via the Cricketerwebsite and have to be in by noon on Friday, September 10.
Andrews, 81, was nominated by Thorverton 1st XI captain Jake Choules in recognition of a 67-year association with the village club.
“Charlie has had various roles including 1st XI captain and more recently president, a position he has held for more than a decade,”said Choules.
“This season Charlie has painted the clubhouse and sheds, put up new fencing around the ground and continued his work as part of the grounds team preparing pitches for every game.
“Charlie spends almost seven days a week at the club, working and doing odd jobs, and on top of his volunteering supports the senior teams on Saturdays.
“He doesn't like a fuss being made of him so most of this work has been uncelebrated until now. Overall, a priceless member of the club whose enthusiasm has not dwindled in 67 years. He deserves real recognition.
Jackie Baker, whose husband, brother and two sons are all cricketers, has been nominated for the same award by Torquay CC scorer Nick Evanson.
Evanson said Baker carries out so many tasks at the club it is difficult to know where to start.
“Jackie has simply re-written the law book for cricketing wives and mothers,”said Evanson.
“She oversees all the club catering while acting as chief chef at the Friday barbecues, which brings the entire club together as well as much-needed income. You can add to that her barmaid duties.
“Jackie has persuaded many families to do teas, which have greatly improved due to the friendly rivalry to provide the best
“She helps with the colts section, collecting subs and providing ‘normally a legendary feast during the intervals at matches.
“For clubs to flourish going forward, diversification is the key. Jackie this year has been at the forefront when it came to this with organising the out-sourcing of catering for two nights of a successful open-air cinema.
“Had the situation with Covid-19 deteriorated further, Jackie had put in place a team of volunteers to help any club members in difficulty, because of self-isolating.
“She is an excellent example of actively encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion at the club.”
The LV= Insurance Pride of Cricket Awards exist to recognise the ingenuity, compassion and endeavour of the cricket family.
A spokesman for the magazine said: “In the midst of a terrible public health emergency, cricket has relied on the hard work, kindness and creativity of thousands of volunteers to survive and thrive. Now it is time to honour their contributions.”
Click here to read the complete nominations and register your vote