St Catherine Cricket Club Head Coach Odean Brown has praised Captain Peat Salmon for his mature approach in leading the Old Harbour Road-based team to the 2023 two-day Senior Cup title recently.
In the drawn final at Sabina Park, St Catherine CC made 333-8 in reply to Kingston CC's 319 to grabbed first-innings advantage to secure the title.
Salmon, the 30-year-old national all-rounder, delivered as usual with his off-spin bowling, taking 3-53, but made only two runs in the championship match.
Still, his contribution was a large part of St Catherine's success in the competition.
The tall, hard-hitting right-hand batsman, who for a change was given full captaincy duties, was tremendous in hitting three centuries to tally 582 runs. He also claimed 32 wickets and comfortably won the tournament's most valuable player award.
"This season is the best I've seen Peat Salmon play. I don't know if it's the captaincy [responsibility], but he showed his true class and his experience," Brown told the Jamaica Observer.
"He deserved the tournament MVP based on his performance, he put up his hand as the captain and the workhorse in the team — he played so many roles this season," the coach said.
Salmon's Jamaica Scorpions teammate Jeavor Royal was named the player of the match for taking five wickets and scoring an enterprising 77 that ensured St Catherine outlasted Kingston in the final.
Brown said it was typical for the left-arm spinning all-rounder to arrive at the party when it mattered most.
"I wanted Royal to give us a hundred, but he was still excellent. He is one of those players who always wants to be involved, he always wants to put up his hand and be counted. It's in his DNA that once it's a final he has to come up trumps, and all that is good for his development," he said of the 24-year-old player.
There were other standout players during the competition. Kingston's left-hander Romaine Morris, who scored a hundred in the final, topped the batting charts with 639 runs, while left-arm spinner Christopher Lamont of St Ann Cricket Association led all bowlers with 48 wickets.
Jamaica Cricket Association President Wilford Heaven was pleased with the 2023 season, which featured Advantage General Insurance as a sponsor.
"Generally it was a good competition; we had some good matches and some good individual performances. We had a lot of five-fors [five-wicket hauls], we had centuries and a double century and the final lived up to expectations with each team making over 300 runs," he said.
Danielle McCalla Reynolds, Advantage General's assistant marketing manager for insurance services, noted that the company was drawn to the sponsoring Senior Cup because cricket is "a sport that's deeply ingrained in the Jamaican culture and it really brings us together as a nation".
She added: "Through our sponsorship we are committed to supporting the development of cricket and the development of the players."
Later this season the JCA is expected to host a 50-over-per-side competition in addition to a T20 tournament.