The Simon Cole “Spirit of Cricket” Award is to recognise a player who may not reach the dizzy heights of British Police Cricket, but is the player who is always there, or the player who may have had four innings and four ducks but is asking when the next game is, always there on a rest day even as twelthers? The player who is less sublime but more ridiculous in their achievements, but plays the game with a smile on their face and represents what police is all about, competitive, accessible to all but most of all a good laugh. 

A massive thanks to Serve and Protect for sponsoring the British Police Cricket Final this year where the award was presented for the first time to Richard Hewes from Kent.  

Inaugural Winner – Richard Hewes (Kent)

Nomination by Simon Williams (Capt Kent)

“My nomination for The Simon Cole “Spirit of Cricket” Award is Richard Hewes who will be part of our match day squad for the final. 2022 is Rich’s second season with the team having made his debut for us against Hampshire in 2021.

He epitomises the phrase “Team Player”. Whilst Rich has featured in every match day squad since making his debut, he rarely gets actual game time, having spent most games as 12th Man. Rich has now played, 10 matches for Kent, 7 of these as 12th Man. He has come on to the field twice as sub fielder for an injured player and has yet to bat and has taken 3 catches.

He has travelled with the squad as 12th Man to all of our away fixtures in 2021 and 2022, and even made the trip to the last years semi-final in Dyfed Powys, knowing he may not get any game time. He kept score for the majority of the match, not expecting to get any game time. However he was on hand when the skipper got injured in the second innings. He was also on hand during the finals, when the skipper fell to yet another injury and Rich came on the field as his replacement, fielding for the entire 45 overs.

As any organiser of a team will know, trying to get players available for games, is one of the most frustrating aspects of running a side. With Rich he is the most reliable player I have. He’s the first person to respond to availability emails, ensuring he has either taken annual leave, swapped rest days or moved his shifts to ensure he is available for Wednesdays fixtures, and this is with the knowledge that he may well be 12th Man again. His commitment to the team is second to none, it makes my job as skipper so much easier when I know I have people like him to rely on.

Rich understands what’s required of a team player, whatever their role in the squad. He is and will be an important member of our squad for years to come, and I know when the time comes for Rich to step up on the field he definitely will do.

In addition to this he has helped recruit other players when we have been short on selection, which has been instrumental in the growth of our squad”

Main image shows the award winner Richard Hewes with Tom Sutton & Cat Angieri from Serve and Protect.

About Simon Cole QPM

On Wednesday 30 March 2022 we learned of the sudden passing of our Chair of Cricket Simon Cole, who had very recently retired as Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police. Simon was not only a hugely respected leader, he was a kind, warm and engaging officer who was proud of being part of British Policing, a huge advocate and active supporter of Police sport. Simon loved all sport, particularly cycling, rugby, tennis and of course cricket.

He was invited to join the Cricket section as a vice Chair in December 2014 and was elected to the position of Chair in 2017, a role in which he remained until his recent retirement. He backed this passion up with unwavering leadership, time and an absolute commitment to support the growth of police sport for all officers and staff. He saw the creation of a new BPCC Women’s section attending one of the nets weekends at ECB Centre in Loughborough, introducing himself and chatting to the group before turning his arm over with some very suspicious looking leg spin.

British Police Cricket will miss him enormously along with the leadership, support, humour and kindness that he provided over many years to players, officials and colleagues.