Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Lions Cricket: Celebrating success – The 2023/24 Lions Awards evening tops the scoreboard

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Photo Credit: Lions Cricket

There was glitz and glamour galore at the Lions Awards evening in Sandton on Saturday night. Those Pride members who constantly went above and beyond, ensuring the 2023/24 season was a roaring success, were duly rewarded throughout the evening with plenty of prizes on offer from the valued and generous partners of the Pride.

The all-encompassing Awards evening covered schools and clubs cricket, National weeks, National representatives, Presidential Awards, blind cricket, deaf cricket, veterans and rural cricket. A special mention to those acknowledged for going above and beyond the call of duty, to our Telkom Lions Academy winners, and our much-valued match official winners. To all our first time winners whether as the batter, bowler or player of the season: A hearty congratulations to you. And for those who narrowly missed out: Next season is just around the corner…Make it yours.

Lions Cricket CEO Jono Leaf-Wright says that the season past still leaves him speechless;

“We hunted the 2023/24 season as a collective, driven, passionate Pride – and that collective effort is what has ensured our success. From schools, to clubs, administrators, scorers, coaches, officials, umpires, the Board, our partners and sponsors, players, friends and families: We’ve had big dreams, and achieved. We have lived, learnt, lead and loved what we do. I am grateful for what has been and thrilled at what’s to come, because I honestly believe that so long as we work together, work smart and love what we do, then beating our best is possible.”

Bjorn Fortuin emerged as the big winner. The DP World Lions’ triumphant men’s T20 captain was named both the DP World Player of the Season and the McDonald’s Players’ Player of the Season. Left-arm spinner Fortuin was in divine form throughout the season with the ball, taking 60 wickets across the three competitions. He was the leading wicket-taker in the CSA 4-Day Series, claiming 35 wickets at an average of 26.11 as he spearheaded the DP World Lions’ title-winning campaign. Fortuin also averaged 26 with the bat, including an unbeaten century against the Dolphins.

He bowled with exceptional control and guile in the white-ball competitions. Fortuin took 18 wickets (4th best) and conceded just 5.85 runs-per-over (3rd best) as the DP World Lions stormed to the T20 Challenge title, and he was also the team’s joint leading wicket-taker in the CSA 1-Day Cup, as well as being one of the most economical bowlers in the competition.

The evergreen Kirstie Thomson won the DP World Player of the Season award for the DP World Lions women’s team, whilst highly respected captain Kgomotso Rapoo was the McDonald’s Players’ Player of the Season. The 35-year-old Thomson put to bed any thoughts of impending retirement as she topped the DP World Lions’ batting averages in both the One-Day Cup and the T20 competition. She averaged 51.66 at a strike-rate of 90 in the 50-over tournament and 42.16 at a strike-rate of 117 in the T20s.

It was also a special evening for left-arm seamer Relebohile Mkhize, whose thrilling talent was recognised with the McDonald’s Fans’ Player of the Season and BAS Newcomer of the Season crowns. Mkhize was thrown into the deep end in her debut season and successfully crossed over from being a rookie to an integral part of the #PrideOfJozi. She was outstanding in the T20 Cup, taking eight wickets in eight matches, the most for the DP World Lions, and conceding just 3.93 runs-per-over. Mkhize also took seven wickets in four One-Day matches, with an economy rate of just 4.50.

Then came the turn of our super spinner Nqaba Peter, who also claimed the double of the McDonald’s Fans’ Player of the Season and BAS Newcomer of the Season awards for the DP World Lions men’s team.

There was a touch of magic about Peter’s introduction to the DP World Lions family as well as he bowled himself into the Proteas team with a glorious T20 campaign. The 21-year-old leg-spinner claimed 20 wickets, the second-most in the competition, at an average of just 9.50 and he conceded only 5.84 runs-per-over.

Rapoo has successfully embedded herself as the undisputed leader of the Lions Ladies pride, having taken over the captaincy at the start of the season.

Her canny spin saw her take 13 One-Day Cup wickets, the top-five nationally, and she only conceded 3.72 runs-per-over. In the T20 competition, Rapoo took seven wickets and went for only 6.00 runs-per-over. The opposition could also never afford to underestimate her hard-hitting batting, as Rapoo averaged 25.25 in the 50-over competition.

Delano Potgieter entertained viewers of the CSA 4-Day Series final with his muscular batting that led the DP World Lions to a victory that defied belief, and he was named the Masana Most Improved Player of the Season for the men’s team.

Nonkululeko Thabethe won the Afripure Most Improved Player of the Season award for the women’s side for the very pleasing growth in her batting.

With the inspirational Ndlovu Youth Choir in full celebratory sing, the winners and their teammates undoubtedly enjoyed the evening by the Pride, for the Pride, concludes Leaf-Wright;

“We brought the Ndlovu Youth Choir to our event to remind us that nothing is impossible, that our country is unrivalled in it’s beauty, diversity and passion and that next season you can expect even greater things from our fire from within.”

AWARD CATEGORY WINNERS

Lions Club Cricket Prize Winners

Enza Premier League  – Batter of the Season – Jonathan Waspe -Wanderers Cricket Club.

Lions Premier League  – Batter of the Season – Jason Rowles – University of Witwatersrand Cricket Club.

DP World Women’s League – Batter of the Season  – Sunette Viljoen-Louw- Randburg Cricket Club.

Lions Women’s Premier B League – Batter of the Season – Gillian Forbes – Wanderers Cricket Club.

Enza Premier League  – Bowler of the Season – Stefan Worthmann – Old Parktonians Cricket Club.

Lions Premier League – Bowler of the Season – Ismail Hafeji – Roshnee Cricket Club.

DP World Women’s League – Bowler of the Season – Samantha Swanepoel -Wanderers Cricket Club.

Lions Women’s Premier B League – Bowler of the Season – Cloe Vermaak –

KHOSA Cricket Club.

Enza Premier League – Player of the Season – Breidyn Schaper – G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club.

Lions Premier League – Player of the Season – Jason Rowles – University of Witwatersrand Cricket Club.

DP World Women’s League – Player of the Season  – Sunette Viljoen-Louw – Randburg Cricket Club.

Lions Women’s Premier B League – Player of the Season – Danielle Webber –

KHOSA Cricket Club.

Black Widow T20 League – Player of the Match (Final) – Section A (men)    – Deeran Baba

University of Witwatersrand Cricket Club.

Black Widow T20 League – Player of the Match (Final) – Section B (men)    – Fikile Sithole

University of Johannesburg Cricket Club.

Black Widow T20 League – Player of the Match (Final) (women) – Marlene Grieb

Wanderers Cricket Club.

Black Widow T20 League – Premier B – Player of the Match (Final) (women) – Megan Britz

Puntans Hill Cricket Club.

Telkom Club of the Season: Wanderers Cricket Club.

SunBet Fair Play Award: G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club.

Lions Match Officials Prize Winners         

Beyers Umpire’s Awards: Andre Sauls.

Beyers Scorer’s Awards: Rebecca Maloka.

Lions Club Cricket League Winners          

Enza Premier League Overall Winner: University of Witwatersrand Cricket Club.

Lions  Premier League Overall Winner: University of Johannesburg Cricket Club.

Enza Premier League – Section A (Time): 1st – University of Witwatersrand Cricket Club; 2nd – G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club; 3rd – KHOSA Cricket Club.

Enza Premier League – Section B (Time): 1st – University of Johannesburg Cricket Club; 2nd (joint) – Crescents Cricket Club; 2nd (joint) – KHOSA Cricket Club.

Enza Premier League (50 overs): 1st – University of Johannesburg Cricket Club; 2nd –  G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club; 3rd –  University of Witwatersrand Cricket Club.

Lions  Premier League (50 overs): 1st – KHOSA Cricket Club; 2nd –  Roshnee Cricket Club;

3rd –  University of Johannesburg Cricket Club.

Black Widow T20 Competition – Premier A (men): 1st – University of Witwatersrand Cricket Club; 2nd – Wanderers Cricket Club.

Black Widow T20 Competition – Premier B (men): 1st –  University of Johannesburg Cricket Club;

2nd – University of Witwatersrand Cricket Club.

Black Widow T20 Competition – Premier A (women) – 1st – Wanderers Cricket Club; 2nd –  Jeppe Cricket Club.

Black Widow T20 Competition – Premier B (women) – 1st – Puntans Hill Cricket Club; 2nd – Wanderers Cricket Club.

DP World Premier League (Women): 1st – Jeppe Cricket Club; 2nd – Wanderers Cricket Club;

3rd –  Soweto Cricket Club.

Lions Women’s Premier B League: 1st –  Puntans Hill Cricket Club; 2nd – Wanderers Cricket Club;

3rd – G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club.

Presidents League – Section A Overall Winner: Wanderers Cricket Club.

Presidents League – Section B Overall Winner: G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club

Presidents League – Section A (Time): 1st – Wanderers Cricket Club; 2nd – Old Parktonians Cricket Club; 3rd – G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club.

Presidents League – Section B (Time): 1st – G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club; 2nd – Azad Swaraj Cricket Club; 3rd – Eldorado Park Ottomans Cricket Club.

Presidents League – Section A (50 overs): 1st – Wanderers Cricket Club; 2nd – G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club; 3rd –  Big Bom Lenasia Cricket Club.

Presidents League – Section B (50 Overs): 1st – Soweto Pioneers Cricket Club; 2nd – G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club; 3rd –  University of Johannesburg Cricket Club.

Sunday One: 1st – Vereeniging Cricket Club; 2nd –  Jeppe Cricket Club; 3rd – G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club.

Sunday Two: 1st – Azaadville Cricket Club; 2nd – Old Lions Cricket Club; 3rd – Sandton Tigers Cricket Club.

Sunday Three: 1st – Pirates Cricket Club; 2nd – Azaadville Rhiders Cricket Club; 3rd – Crosby Legends Cricket Club.

Sunday Four: 1st – Jeppe Cricket Club; 2nd – Old Lions Cricket Club; 3rd – Riverlea Cricket Club.

Sunday Five – 1st – Azaadville Cricket Club; 2nd – Crosby Legends Cricket Club; 3rd – Khosa Cricket Club.

Sunday Six: 1st – Wanderers Cricket Club; 2nd – Dalikay Cricket Club; 3rd – Sandton Tigers Cricket Club.

Sunday Seven: 1st – Jeppe Cricket Club; 2nd – G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club; 3rd – Pirates Cricket Club.

Lions Club Cricket Saturday Competition

Macrocomm Lions T20 Knockout: 1st – Big Bom Lenasia Cricket Club; 2nd – Wanderers Cricket Club.

Saturday One (Men): 1st – G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club; 2nd – Big Bom Lenasia Cricket Club;

3rd –  Puntans Hill Cricket Club.

Saturday One (Women): 1st – University of Johannesburg Cricket Club; 2nd – Orange Farm Cricket Club; 3rd – Renegades Cricket Club.

Saturday Two: 1st- Puntans Hill Cricket Club; 2nd- Die Ratels Cricket Club; 3rd- Marks Park Thistles Cricket Club.

Saturday Three: 1st- Soweto Cricket Club; 2nd- Sandton Tigers Cricket Club; 3rd- Wanderers Cricket Club.

Saturday Four: 1st – Puntans Hill Cricket Club; 2nd – Sandton Tigers Cricket Club; 3rd – Pirates Cricket Club.

Saturday Five: 1st – Old Parktonians Cricket Club; 2nd –  Old Lions Cricket Club; 3rd – Sopranos Cricket Club.

Saturday Six: 1st – Old Vaaltonians Cricket Club; 2nd – Wanderers Cricket Club; 3rd – Sandton Tigers Cricket Club.

Lions Veterans League Winners    

Lions Veterans League Winners: G&M Old Edwardians Cricket Club.

Lions Youth Cricket Awards           

Telkom Under 16 Boys Player of the Season: Tahseen Hanslo.

Telkom Under 16 Girls Player of the Season: Neo Molefe.

Telkom Under 18 Boys Player of the Season: Kwena Maphaka.

Telkom Under 18 Girls Player of the Season: Karabo Meso.

McDonald’s School of the Season: St Stithians College – Boys.

Mini Cricket Coach of the Season: Stacey Denise Weirich – Delta Primary School.

Mini Cricket Co-ordinator of the Season – Mandisa Mpembe – Arthur Matthews Primary.

Lions Rural Cricket  

Batter of the Season: JP Kok.

Bowler of the Season: Dewald Erasmus.

Player of the Season: Jayden Louw.

Telkom Lions Academy Prize Winners     

Batter of the Season: Tiaan Brits.

Bowler of the Season: Zack Momberg.

Telkom Lions Academy Player of the Season: Tiaan Brits.

DP World Lions Blind Cricket Prize Winners       

Batter of the Season: Lwande Bhidla.

Bowler of the Season: Siyavuya Mahlikihla.

Most Improved Player of the Season: Sivuyise Gwayi.

Fidelity Player of the Season: Buhle Bhidla.

DP World Lions Deaf Cricket Prize Winners        

Batter of the Season: Shani De Jager.

Bowler of the Season: Gareth Harries.

Fielder of the Season: Sivesh Poonsamy – Muthoo.

Ellies Player of the Season: Sivesh Poonsamy – Muthoo.

DP World Lions (Women)   

CSA 50 Over Competition

Batter of the Season Nonkululeko Thabethe

Bowler of the Season          Kgomosto Rapoo

Fielder of the Season       Jenna Evans

CSA T20 Competition

Batter of the Season        Kirstie Thomson

Bowler of the Season      Relebohile Mkhize

Fielder of the Season       Kgomotso Rapoo

BAS New Comer of the Season: Relebohile Mkhize

Afripure Most Improved Player of the Season: Nonkululeko Thabethe

Planet Fitness Fitness Award: Sunette Viljoen-Louw

McDonald’s Player’s Player of the Season: Kgomotso Rapoo

DP World Lions Player of the Season: Kirstie Thomson

McDonald’s Fan’s Player of the Season: Relebohile Mkhize

DP World Lions (Men)         

CSA 4-Day Series

Batter of the Season        Wiaan Mulder

Bowler of the Season      Bjorn Fortuin

Fielder of the Season       Wandile Makwetu

CSA 1-Day Cup

Batter of the Season        Joshua Richards

Bowler of the Season      Bjorn Fortuin

Fielder of the Season       Joshua Richards

CSA T20 Challenge

Batter of the Season                    Ryan Rickelton

Bowler of the Season                  Nqaba Peter

Fielder of the Season                   Temba Bavuma

BAS New Comer of the Season: Nqaba Peter

Masana Most Improved Player of the Season: Delano Potgieter

Planet Fitness Fitness Award: Ryan Rickelton

McDonald’s Player’s Player of the Season: Bjorn Fortuin

DP World Lions Player of the Season: Bjorn Fortuin

McDonald’s Fan’s Player of the Season: Nqaba Peter

Lions Presidential Awards  

Winner            Elias Sithole

Winner            Natasha Stewart

Special Recognition Award – “Call Beyond Duty”

Hungry Heart Award: Riverlea Cricket Club.

Beyond The Boundary Award: Puntans Hill Cricket Club.

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