The winners of the 2018 Bob Barber Awards were announced on 18th December by Cricket Switzerland's junior development officer, Michael Hall.
Sasha Hall (U11), Kabir Mehta (U13), James West (U15), Dayn Pariaug (U17) and Ruan Kruger & Nicholas Henderson (U19) are the recipients of this year's prestigious Swiss Youth Awards, provided by ex-England international Bob Barber, recognising & encouraging the special talent amongst the younger members of the Swiss cricketing community.
The U11 award winner ticked all the boxes, leading the season’s batting and bowling stats with 674 runs at an average of 51.8 and 30 wickets at an average of 10.87. Went from strength to strength as an opener, racking up runs indoors and out, retiring 3 times on the Surrey tour. Showed he could build an innings and keep concentration up scoring 63* (the only 50 in the age group) in the Coloured Clothing Tournament in Leicester. Added pace and the out-swinger to his left-arm bowling which troubled upper order and lower order players alike netting a five-for at Zuoz. Also captained the national side, and had the gloves for half of the tour. A great year in his 4th and last at U11s.
Michael Hall, Swiss U11 Coach
Strong batsman topping the batting averages and runs scored for the season. Awarded batsman trophy in all Swiss tournaments and finished top scorer on UK tour. Pitched in with useful wickets and catches. Stand out player of the year and worthy winner in his final year at U13.
Peter Veal, Swiss U13 Coach
The award for U15s went to James West based on his batting in the Swiss tournaments where he top scored in the Gingins and Basel and was 3rd highest scorer at Zuoz. He scored a total of 365 runs at an average of 182.5. James also captained the Swiss U15 team at the Colour Clothing Tournament where he was second highest scorer with 153 runs and his 14 wickets won him the purple cap for the tournament.
Dayn has been a player that we had no hesitation in selecting for ZCCC 1st XI that played in the senior Swiss T20 league despite some fierce competition. He played in all seven matches and was ZCCC’s top ranked bowler and 18th overall in the senior league. His best figures were 3-13 vs Zurich Lions, and 2-17 vs Zug. As MVP he was ranked 67th of 278 players.
For the U19 in Barbados he was also selected without reservation and invariably opened the bowling with Adil Tunda. They were effective and produced 21 wickets between them in the 9 matches we played. Dayn has developed into a fast bowler, showing greater control of his line and length and consistency, and has shown he is capable of intimidating batsmen way above himself in age. He has worked hard on his game and has the ability to also become a valuable middle order batsman who can demonstrate great patience but is also able to hit hard and find boundaries with ease with his long levers.
Patrick Henderson, Swiss U19 Coach
Ruan has played consistently for Zurich Crickets in the T20 competition and for Winterthur in the 40 over league. He also represented Switzerland at U19 in Barbados and Zuoz. Ruan is an excellent player, reflected in the keen-ness of both ZCCC and WCC to have him play for them! He is consistently outstanding in the field, whether as slip, roaming close to the bat or in the deep, lifting the fielding performance of the sides he is in by example. When playing for ZCCC and the Swiss U19s he is our go-to opening batsman, and often devastatingly successful. He has scored half centuries in ZCCC T20 games, a blistering 83 against Milan for the Swiss U19s at Zuoz and 39 in our first game in Barbados, where he was one of 4 batsmen to score over 100. His technique is strong, and his influence on his team powerful: batting is easier when Ruan is still at the crease! He is also a very effective medium-fast swing bowler, demonstrated again in Zuoz and Barbados, where he had the lowest average of any of our bowlers (his 9 wickets coming at 13.4 apiece) and, with an economy rate of 4.0 per over, was just behind the most economical spin bowlers. Over the last year, I have enjoyed seeing Ruan taking more of a role in running the on-field play; his experience is valuable and inputs insightful, and I hope he can take pleasure from this aspect of the game in the future. Overall, he has been an invaluable part of the teams he has played for.
Nicolas was the natural selection for captain of both Zurich Crickets and of the Swiss U19s this year, a role combined with his wicketkeeper batsman responsibilities. Captaincy is a heavy load, especially changing from T20 to 40-over competitions. Nicolas has risen to the challenge, winning the confidence of his team mates and leading by example, maintaining and pushing his personal play. Following the Swiss T20 competition, Nic was picked as the wicketkeeper batsman for the competition's Dream Team. In Barbados, Nicolas steadied the team in difficult circumstances on two occasions to establish partnerships that steered us to victory - digging in to stabilise then gradually unwinding and accelerating the scoring rate to achieve what looked on paper like strong victories - true captain's performances when they were called for. Nic's presence in a team establishes an atmosphere of infectious enthusiasm, often noisy, always welcoming. As captain of Zurich Crickets, this atmosphere has helped bring on many new players whose experience of formal cricket has been limited. Nic's contribution to this is impossible to overstate. It was also a great pleasure for me to read Nic's final year Matura project on the impact of cricket on the history of Barbados, for which he won his school's Matura project Prize. To write this, he had organised and conducted interviews with a number of senior figures in Barbados cricket over the last 50 years, who were delighted to receive copies from Nic during the tour (of this I have photographic evidence!) It is unusual for the interest in cricket to be developed along academic lines, and it was to Nic's great credit that he did so, with such success.
John Millar, Swiss U19 Coach
The medals are expected to be presented by Bob Barber himself at the Basel indoor tournaments over the winter.
Congratulations to all these young lads for a terrific season.