28 September 2009

Cricket Ireland is delighted to formally announce the five recipients of the ICC Centenary Medals, which are awarded to volunteers who have made a huge contribution to cricket either locally or nationally.

The medals are part of the ICC Centenary celebrations, recognising the outstanding work carried out by volunteers across the globe.

The five Irish recipients are Derek Scott, Siobhan McBennett, Lexie Miller, Cecil Walker, and the late John Wright. Cricket Ireland President Arthur Vincent paid tribute to those selected saying, "We have been particularly fortunate in Irish cricket to have benefitted from so many magnificent servants over the years, and these awards are a fitting tribute to five of them. They have all contributed in making Irish cricket the success story it is today with their sterling efforts over a long period of time."

Speaking after being informed of the award, Lexie Miller said, "I was absolutely stunned when I heard the news, but I am immensely proud, as is all my family, that I have been honoured in this way by the world cricket body. My lifetime involvement in cricket has been nothing but a labour of love, and I deeply appreciate the fact that my voluntary work in the North West and in the Derry Midweek League, where all our proceeds go to local charities, has been recognised in this way. It will make my 80th birthday in November the happiest of all."

About the recipients:

Siobhan McBennett: Siobhan is a former manager of the Irish Women's team (1992-96), and served on the ICU Executive from 2000-07. She is currently Vice Chairman of the Irish Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers, and was European representative to the ICC Women's Committee. At club level, Siobhan is Chairman of her club, and having started girls cricket in the club, still finds time to look after the Under 11, 13 and 15 teams.

Derek Scott: Derek was Secretary of the Irish Cricket Union for 24 years, taking over from the legendary Jimmy Boucher. He was President of the Union in 2001, and is the chief archivist for Irish cricket, having an unsurpassed collection of cricket literature.

Cecil Walker: A member of the Lisburn Cricket Club for over 65 years, Cecil is a former President of both the Northern and Irish Cricket Unions. He was also Chairman of the ICU when they appointed their first full time professional coach, Mike Hendrick: an approach that put Irish cricket on the road to the success it enjoys today.

Lexie Miller: Lexie has been heavily involved with the Derry Midweek League for over 50 years. The Derry Midweek League is this year celebrating its 82nd Anniversary having been founded in 1927. Lexie has many fond memories of his many years association with the Midweek League and is particularly proud of the thousands of pounds raised for worthy causes during that time. Lexie is of course in addition Vice President of the North West Cricket Union.

John Wright: John had been a pivotal figure in Ireland's recent successes, being involved in the administration of Leinster and Irish cricket for over 30 years, and was also President of the Union in 1997. He served as Secretary of the Irish Cricket Union from 1997 before stepping down following the Annual General Meeting in 2008. John also made significant contributions to the game at large with long-serving work on European cricket and ICC Committees including the ICC Development Committee, and a stint on the prestigious ICC's Chief Executives Committee as one of just three representing the interests of 90 countries beneath Test level.

He was a recipient of an ICC Global Lifetime Service Award for his long and dedicated service to worldwide cricket development, collecting his award at a ceremony at Lord’s last year. At the time former ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed praised the work of John Wright, stating "There is no doubt that your efforts over a long period of time have formed a significant part of the successes that Ireland has enjoyed in recent years."

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