CRICKET Fiji national team captain Josefa Rika was awarded the 2011/2012 Cricket Fiji Best Player and Player of the Year award at the Hotel Novotel Suva Lami Bay on Saturday night.
Rika said his passion for the sport started at a tender age and he has never looked back since.
"Growing up I fell in love with cricket and I have progressed from being a junior player to the player of the year."
The 24-year old said he never would have received the recognition (awards) without the support of his family and friends, especially his mother, who he dedicated his awards to.
"The overwhelming support I received throughout my cricket career has been my motivation especially my mother's assistance. I dedicate my accomplishments tonight to her," he said. Apart from being the national team captain, the Matuku man is also Cricket Fiji's high performance manager.
"I would like to see the sport develop into something great in the future. I wish to see children playing cricket in the grounds or at home, the same way they play rugby since children are evidently talented and I aim to bring more recognition to this sport," he said.
For the Association Awards: Coach of the year: Lepani Seniyaqona (Oneata),Volunteer of the year: Aquila Nawai (Suva),Administrator of the year: Kolinio Tawalokusi (Moce),Junior Player of the year: Jerry Tawake (Oneata),Woman's player of the year: Ruci Kaiwai (Suva),Men's Player of the Year: Josefa Dabea (Suva)
In the Governing BodyAwards: Coach of the year: Vili Katina (lakeba),Volunteer of the year: Michael Quinn (CF),Administrator of the year: Ashney Singh (Suva),Junior Player of the year: Metsula Beitaki (Moce),Woman's player of the year: Ruci Kaiwai (Suva),Men's Player of the Year: Josefa Rika (Suva),Umpire of the Year: Mohamed MaqBool (Suva).
Also awarded ICC EAP lifetime achievement award: Luisa Rika
ICC EAP Best Womans Initiative Award in the East Asia Pacific - Cricket Fiji
Cricket Fiji Player of the year: Finalists: Josefa Rika