Local cricket umpire John Bates was recently honoured by a host of current and former England cricketers including Georgia Adams, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Marcus Trescothick and Fran Wilson at the NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OSCAs) for 2016.
John – who umpires in the Warwickshire Cricket League and for Warwickshire Cricket Board school and club competitions – was presented with the national award for Officiating, Umpires and Scorers.
Ed McCabe, General Manager of the Warwickshire Cricket Board, said: “John has been a major contributor to Warwickshire Cricket for more than 60 years, having played for Bedworth CC and Coventry & North Warwickshire CC before becoming an umpire.
“He works tirelessly to develop players and officials, and is the Training Officer for the Warwickshire Cricket League and the County Performance Officer for Warwickshire County Association of Cricket Officials.
“Umpiring many games a season, John will always go out of his way to officiate a broad range of matches and is a very deserved winner of this national accolade.”
The 2016 OSCAs – hosted by BBC Cricket Correspondent and Test Match Special commentator Jonathan Agnew at Lord’s – brought together over 400 people from across England and Wales to celebrate the heroes of the recreational game.
Tanworth & Camp Hill CC’s Andy Turnbull was also recognised as runner up in the Young Volunteer Award whilst Corley CC’s Paul Williams was runner up for the Heartbeat of the Club Award.
Matt Dwyer ECB’s Director of Participation and Growth said: “The NatWest OSCAs are our way of highlighting and rewarding the contributions volunteers make to grassroots cricket. The sport relies on the incredible amount of work they put in at their clubs every year.
“Congratulations to all of our outstanding winners and I hope they have had a day they will never forget.”
Commenting on the awards, Stuart Broad said: “Days like this are what it is all about – recognizing the volunteers who do so much incredible work behind the scenes. They are the reason we all have cricket clubs to play at and enjoy. The game simply wouldn’t function without them.”
Now in its fourteenth year, the NatWest OSCAs form an integral part of both NatWest and the ECB’s volunteering programmes which give cricket clubs advice on recruiting, training and rewarding volunteers.