Trinidad & Tobago honours sports icons

By RON FANFAIR

Two Trinidad & Tobago sports administrators were honoured for their outstanding contributions at the annual Independence Day National awards ceremony at President’s House last Monday.

Alvin Corneal, who represented the twin-island republic in both cricket and soccer, and former West Indies women’s cricket team captain, Ann Browne-John, were presented with the Humming Bird medals, the country’s third highest honour after the Order of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago and the Chaconia Medal of the Order of the Trinity.

The captain of the 1993 and 1997 World Cup teams, Browne-John said she was elated to be successfully nominated for the prestigious award.

“It is a great thing not only for me but for women’s cricket,” said Browne-John who is the International Cricket Council’s Americas women cricket representative and the T & T women’s cricket team technical advisor. “It’s a great recognition of women’s cricket and of my whole family and for what my family has done for the game.”

Browne-John, one of four sisters to play cricket for T & T, also represented the twin-island republic in hockey. She was a member of the national team that won a gold medal at the 1986 Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico. She also represented T & T at the 1987 and 1991 Pan American games.

Corneal, 71, said he was not surprised by the recognition.

“I don’t know that I am surprised,” he said. “I know that there have been great contributors over the years and I would think the fact that I have represented the country nationally, I would have been considered. I did not know when it would be or if it would have been, but I am pleased nonetheless that it has come at this time.

“I have to admit that I am very honoured. I know that these awards usually go to the people who have contributed. So I am really honoured that the people of this country believe I am a contributor, so I am grateful to them and touched that the people of this country are appreciative of what I have done for sport.”

Corneal debuted for the senior national soccer side at age 17 as a left winger/striker and was a member of the national cricket team that captured the then Caribbean Shell Shield title in 1970 and 1971.

After his playing days were over, he served as head coach of the national junior and senior teams before becoming a sports analyst and commentator.

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