The BJMT Awards Panel met on 29 April 2015 at the Lord’s Taverners offices in London to make the annual Brian Johnston Scholarship Awards. A total of £45,000 was given in scholarships, grants and awards to help promising young cricketers to fulfil their sporting potential. Once again we are grateful for the generosity and support of all our Johnners Club members, who have enabled us to make these awards.
(1) ECB Recommended Scholars.
On the recommendation of the ECB Performance Department, Brian Johnston Cricket Scholarships totalling more than £10,000 were awarded to the following young cricketers to assist them with travelling expenses so that they can attend their coaching and training sessions:
- Kyle Awbery (Northants): A seventeen-year-old left-arm fast bowler who has progressed through the County system from a nine-year-old and is now part of the Northants Academy programme. He represented the Midlands at the Super 4s last season and is hoping to make the full squad this year.
- Providence Cowdrill (Hampshire): Providence is a talented leg spinner and batsman, who is currently in the Hampshire Girls Emerging Player Programme and U17 and Senior Womens squads for 2015. She is currently pushing for a place in the England Womens Development Programme U19 squad.
- Jan Gray (Kent): A sixteen-year-old right-arm leg-spin bowler and right-hand batsman who played for Kent U15 Performance team last season. Represented London & East of England U15 at the Bunbury Festival last summer.
- Max Holden (Middlesex): He is one of the stand-out players in the country at his age group. He recently returned from Dubai where he captained England U17 against Pakistan recording three scores of over 50 in five innings, and taking vital wickets with his off-spin bowling.
- Jade Hoyte (Norfolk): Jade is a very talented fourteen-year-old all-rounder selected for the Norfolk U15 squad who has come through the ‘Chance to Shine’ system and was Norfolk’s leading wicket taker when in the U13s.
- Badhal Khunti (Leicester): One of the County’s most talented young cricketers who has benefitted from the BJMT Elite Spin Bowling Programme for the last two years. He has represented the County in his age groups for the last two seasons, having been spotted by one of Leicestershire’s ‘Chance to Shine’ coaches and fast-tracked straight into the County system.
- Bhijal Khunti (Leicester): Badhal’s younger sister and part of Leicestershire’s Young Cricketers Programme, she is expected to be become part of the Leicestershire Emerging Player Programme when she is old enough.
- Feroze Khushi (Essex): A fifteen-year-old right-hand batsman who had a very successful season with Essex U15, for whom he was named Player of the Season, and London & East of England Bunbury squad. He also received the award of best player in all Essex age groups and is now on the County Academy.
- Dominic Manthorpe (Essex): Dominic is a seventeen-year-old left-arm medium fast bowler and left-handed batsman. He was identified as a strongly built left-arm seam bowler whilst playing for Suffolk against Essex in 2014 and has now become part of the Essex Academy.
- Don Manuwelge (Middlesex): A talented top order batsman and off-spin bowler, who has been very successful in the Middlesex Youth and County 2nd XI cricket in recent seasons. Don arrived in the UK from Sri Lanka aged thirteen and the County have high hopes for his future, especially now he is qualified for England.
- George Pardoe (Hampshire): An Under-14 seam bowler, who is now in his first year on the Hampshire Emerging Players Programme and is an important member of the County’s fast bowling programme.
- Anis Raza (Nottingham): A promising young spin bowler now in second year with the Notts Academy. He represented the Midlands Region at U15 last season and was awarded the Bowler of the Tournament at the Bunbury Festival.
- Oliver Robinson (Kent): He is a sixteen-year-old wicket-keeper and right-hand batsman and represented Kent U15 and U17 Performance teams last summer.
- Sukhjit (Sunny) Singh, (Warwickshire): Sunny is a left-arm spinner who emigrated from India about four years ago and is currently in his second year on the Warwickshire Academy. He has played for Warwickshire U19 as well as a few 2nd XI games for the County last season.
- Joe Voke (Glamorgan): Joe is an exciting top order batsman in his first year on the County Academy. He was one of the leading batsmen in the Glamorgan U17 team last year which reached the final of the U17 Trophy and semi-final of the two-day championship.
- Jem Warner (Dorset): A leg spin bowler and middle order batsman, Jem played for Dorset U17 for whom he was their Player of the Year last season, and was the leading wicket taker in the Dorset Premier League in 2014.
(2) Blind Cricket.
The Brian Johnston Memorial Trust is proud to continue its support of cricket for the visually impaired and a grant of £7,500 was awarded to Blind Cricket England and Wales towards the cost of funding their sixth annual development weekend at the University of Leicester in September 2015, designed to introduce players and teams from around the country to blind cricket.
An additional grant of £6,000 was given to Female VI Cricket Development to further develop their girls-specific cricket initiative that offers blind and visually impaired school children the opportunity to participate in out of school cricket clubs. Last year the first-ever international womens’ blind cricket match was held in Nepal and the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust was proud to be one of the sponsors.
(3) BJMT Elite Spin Bowling Programme.
The Brian Johnston Memorial Trust has agreed to continue its sponsorship of the BJMT Elite Spin Bowling Programme in association with the ECB. All eighteen of the first class Counties and UCCEs are now participating in this programme that aims to encourage and develop the art of spin bowling in England and Wales by providing funds for additional coaching at Academy level.