“My World Cup titles are my Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree” – Samuel Badree on his prestigious award

Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dr Kishore Shallow congratulated vice-president Azim Bassarath and West Indies double T20 World Cup winner Samuel Badree on receiving the Hummingbird Medal Gold award at Sunday’s 2023 national awards ceremony.

The ceremony took place at President’s House in St Ann’s, Port of Spain.

A statement from Shallow on Wednesday hailed Bassarath’s milestone achievement.

“His commitment to cricket and his tireless efforts in promoting the sport have been instrumental in our pursuit of excellence at CWI. This recognition is a testament to his unwavering passion and dedication to the game not only in TT but at a regional level.”

The Hummingbird Medal Gold is one of TT’s highest honors, recognizing exceptional contributions and achievements in various fields.

Since his election in March 2023, Bassarath has been an integral part of the CWI leadership team, playing a pivotal role in the development of cricket. Over the years, he has been a champion of women’s cricket, ensuring a robust development programme exists in TT.

On Badree’s accomplishment, Shallow added, “Samuel Badree has etched his name on the pages of history as a member of the victorious T20 World Cup squads in 2012 and 2016. No doubt, he continues to make an invaluable contribution to the sport through his academy, coaching, and commentary, inspiring a new generation of players.”

Badree founded and runs Badree’s Academy of Sports Education (BASE), which facilitates over 100 children.

He continues to be an ambassador for his country as a commentator in global events such as World Cups, Caribbean Premier League, Indian Premier League and for West Indies. Badree is a level three coach and works as a mentor to West Indies spinners.

The CWI statement added, “The Hummingbird Medal Gold Award is a fitting tribute to Bassarath and Badree’s remarkable achievements and their dedication to cricket. It serves as an inspiration to all cricket enthusiasts and showcases the profound impact that cricket has on the Caribbean community.”

Speaking about the award, Badree said,

“For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to play for Trinidad and Tobago and the West Indies. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I’d be a two-time World Cup champion, a former number 1 T20 bowler in the world or many of the other achievements I’ve had.

“I’ve always played the sport of cricket because of the great joy it brought to me and later on, the joy it brought to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean. I’ve never played for any accolade, award or reward but rather to be the best that I can.”

Badree said he saw sport and education as vehicles for upward social mobility and, “I am quite proud to have excelled in both.”

“Right up there with my World Cup titles are my Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree. I’ve been involved in all levels of the education landscape, including primary school, secondary school and at a senior management level,” he continued.

“My aspiration has always been to embody and demonstrate the positive correlation between sport and education. Some people think that they are mutually exclusive and that you can excel in one or the other. I hope that through my contributions, young boys and girls can see that in fact sport and education are inextricably linked and that each compliments the other,” Badree added.

He said he is committed to both endeavors which comes together in his academy, BASE through which he hopes to inspire the next generation so that excellence will be the norm rather than the exception.

“I am passionate about the work that I do with my academy. Every year, we engage hundreds of children from all walks of life and deliver a holistic programme where cricket is used as the vehicle in developing productive and disciplined citizens of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.

“I am very thankful to my mother, a single mother, who made tremendous personal sacrifices which allowed me to pursue my dreams and grateful to my siblings who never allowed me to wane from chasing excellence. Gratitude must also be extended to my wife and two daughters who continue to be my pillars of strength and motivation to continue to do all that I do,” he continued.

“I thank all of Trinidad and Tobago for the support over the years and I have no doubt that together, we can inspire the youth of the nation and excellence will be the norm rather than the exception,” Badree added.

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