Welcome to the latest Otago Country Cricket newsletter. It seems a long time since the last one and there’s just so much going on that we need to let you all know about.
Our Hawke Cup team qualified for a Hawke Cup challenge which is huge news for an association of our size. These challenges don’t come around often and it’s been nine years since our last one, 2011 against North Otago, which ended with us winning the coveted trophy. Congratulations to Fraser Wilson for running the program and coach Rhiane Smith and co-captains Tim McCormick and Sam Blakely for steering the team to the challenge, 13-15 March at Rangiora against a tough Canterbury Country side. Good luck lads. Check out the team here:
Molyneux Park has had its pitch block upgrade completed earlier in the week and all that remains is for the grass to grow. Well done to the Delta team and congratulations to the CODC for going ahead with the project. This was the first major work done on the block since the early 1970’s so really well overdue. I’d also like to make mention of the co-operation from the Alexandra Rugby Club who agreed to delaying the start of playing games on the No1 ground so this could go ahead and also a big thank you to the Alexandra Athletics Club for the understanding after the disruption to their program. The upgrade should see the future proofing of this iconic cricket ground for many years to come.
A huge congratulations to our Summer Coach, Ashlee Hammond who took the plunge and married her longtime companion last Saturday and has now become Mrs Ashlee Ryan. We wish Ashlee and Shane a long and happy life together.
We are really excited to have a game coming up on the 15th March at Molyneux Park No4 between an Otago Country Secondary Schools X1 and the Chairmans X1. We see this as a way of giving our secondary school people the opportunity to play with and against some of their peers as well as rubbing shoulders with a former BLACKCAP, former Otago Volts, current Otago Spark and a mixture of senior club players from both the Vincent and South Otago competitions. The SS team will be coached by Gihan Fernando who is in charge of a few of our rep sides and captained by Shayne O’Connor. Details here:
A reminder to all that we are holding a 65-year reunion on 15-17 January 2021. This will also celebrate 25 years since we successfully won the Fuji Xerox Cup against Taranaki and the 10th anniversary of winning the Hawke Cup off North Otago. Promises to be a great weekend of celebrations and sharing memories of our association. Registrations will be open soon so keep the date free.
Adrian and I, along with three other members of the Country board, Liz Perkins, Mark Shepherd and Shayne O’Connor attended an Otago Cricket Governance Forum in late February in Dunedin. We joined members from the Otago Cricket, Southland and North Otago boards to discuss how we all went about our business and exchanged ideas on how best to progress going forward. There was plenty of discussion and it was a good chance to meet people in the same roles from different districts. The general feeling was that these should happen more often.
Adrian, Sam and Ashlee have been busy with all sorts of cricket happening throughout the region. Four senior college teams played their T20 Super Smash playoffs on Monday at Molyneux Park. Verdon College from Southland ran out the winners with the other teams competing being Taieri College, Waitaki Boys and locals Dunstan High School. There have been school visits, festival days, holiday programs and the increasingly popular Girls Smash in Alexandra, Queenstown and Wanaka as well as the Boys Blast at those three venues. After school Superstar academies have been ongoing as have our age-group representative programs so there has been plenty of our chosen sport to keep everyone busy and interested. Not to mention the BLACKCAPS test series win over India and the Volts completing a great win over old foes Canterbury earlier in the week.
Last chance this week to get out and support your local club sides as they play their finals this weekend in the Vincent competition while the semi-finals of the 40 over part of the season down south in the South Otago competition go ahead. Good luck to all involved.
I might be slightly biased but check out this link to the best Facebook page going around to keep up with all the happenings on cricket in Otago Country.
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