Herschel Gutman says he feels proud to have won the ICC Europe Coach of the Year award for leading the Israel Cricket Association’s training development programme.
An ECB Level 3 Performance coach, tutor and assessor, Gutman, 37, has established a 10-team night cricket league throughout the region. As player-coach of the Israeli national team, he has worked on a player development programme involving numerous communities and groups within Israel.
Gutman said: "I’m very proud to be recognised by the ICC. I have really enjoyed coaching in Israel. All the players are very enthusiastic, which makes my job easier.
"Winning this award is excellent recognition for all the work that is going on behind the scenes in Israel. Hopefully, all the coaches here can continue to grow the sport and produce very good cricketers.
"This award will help to increase awareness amongst the local Israelis about cricket in Israel as it is still a relatively small sport in a country where basketball and football dominate."
ICA chairman Stanley Perlman is proud of Gutman’s accolade. "Herschel has been our national cricket development officer for almost four years and his unabated enthusiasm, dedication and love for the game is evident wherever he goes, whether it be at the schools, in the nets or on the field," said Perlman.
"Herschel will always be there with a 100 per cent effort. He has instigated and introduced many new forms of the game to Israeli cricket but, more so, the way he puts everything across to the players is a sight to be beheld.
"With Herschel at the helm of cricket development in Israel we can expect much success in the future."
Gutman will be invited, along with Roland Lefebvre, winner of the Outstanding Contribution Award, to the ICC’s European Presidents’ Day which will be hosted on finals day at the ICC European Division One Championships.
The ICA’s Michael Barnett said: "Due to the work and hours that Herschel puts in, I have seen the wonderful improvement in the Israel junior section’s cricket over the years."
Israel’s George Sheader was joint-runner-up in the ICC Europe Outstanding Contribution to Cricket category. Sheader, 58, is the ICA’s Junior Development officer and runs Israeli cricket in the Negev. He is also involved in the award-winning Cricket 4Peace cross-border project.