FIFTY-SIX of Victoria’s most dedicated cricket volunteers were recognised for their work in community cricket at Cricket Victoria’s Service Awards.

The awards were presented on Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

This season, a new category was introduced to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of female volunteers to the game across the state.

Jennifer Shingles was acknowledged for her 40 year service to Boisdale-Briagolong/St Andrews Cricket Club

A 25 Year Service Award category was awarded for the first time to 21 females, including past Victorian Metropolitan Cricket Union Vice President, Vanessa Pereira.

Other recipients included Russell Dowling, a member of the Dowling family in which Cricket Victoria’s Dowling Shield Under 16 Boys competition is named, and Australian Cricket Society President and Victorian Sub Districts Cricket Association executive Mark Dunstan.

Cricket Victoria Chief Executive, Nick Cummins congratulated all those recognised.

“Volunteers are integral to community sport and our game wouldn’t exist without their contributions,” he said.

“It’s important that we recognise those who have provided long standing service to grassroots cricket and thank them for their hard work.

“It’s especially pleasing to see so many females being recognised this season with our new award category.

“I’d like to congratulate all our award winners and thank all Victorian community cricket volunteers.”