A HUMBLED Charles ‘Chuggy’ Perchard was ‘completely surprised’ when he heard he was nominated for the 2021 Betway CI Sports Personality of the Year award.
The Island’s men’s cricket captain finds himself on a shortlist alongside two professional footballers and an Olympian – all from Guernsey – leaving him feeling ‘out of place’ in a battle for one of the Channel Islands’ showpiece accolades.
Perchard’s nomination follows a standout year in which he captained Jersey Cricket to arguably their best season ever. The Caesareans progressed from the ICC World T20 Europe Qualifier unbeaten for the first time in their history, with Perchard topping the wickets chart alongside team-mate Benjamin Ward, with ten apiece.
But the former De La Salle student is reluctant to take individual credit for the wicket haul. Instead, he was keen to praise Jersey’s ‘brilliant fielding unit’.
‘It makes my job a lot easier when you have a such a capable fielding unit, and one of the best wicket-keepers, in Jake Dunford, around,’ he said.
‘The manner in which we won the tournament unbeaten, and the calibre of the teams we beat along the way was incredible,’ he said. ‘Many of the games we played looked lost, and somehow we came through every one of them.’
Jersey ripped through European powerhouses Germany, Italy and Denmark at the continental tournament in Spain – nations with multiple county cricketers at their disposal.
Perchard credited a ‘never say die’ attitude for those victories and said that resilience is a trait that goes back to Perchard’s early days in Jersey’s senior squad.
Despite leading Jersey to success in the Twenty20 Europe Qualifier in 2019, he admitted their latest success – which propelled them up to an all-time best of 23rd in the men’s ICC T20I world rankings – was more special.
‘It has helped solidify Jersey’s position as one of the best T20 nations in the world,’ he added.
Bristol City midfielder Alex Scott and Brighton & Hove Albion Women defender Maya Le Tissier also feature on the CI Sports Awards’ premier shortlist – as does Olympic Games track athlete Cameron Chalmers.
The winner will be decided by a public vote. Lines are open until Thursday 27 January.