Clubs given hard word

By Jared Smith

Cricket Wanganui is urging its clubs to quash their "petty differences" and strengthen communication in the aftermath of the controversial end to the Premier 1 one-day competition.

Frustrations were vented by players and letters of complaint fired off after the December 1 weekend games when Collegiate player Andre Halbert turned out for his club despite reportedly being injured for the Hawke Cup team, while a Collegiate's home Premier 2 game with Saracens was defaulted without the visitors being told.

Cricket Wanganui chairman Stu Gill said Collegiate were not stripped of their points for their victory on December 1.

However, an email has been sent to all clubs outlining underscoring rules for player ineligibility for club games if they are unavailable for representative duties.

It also states the process for declaring unavailability, defaulting games and, tellingly, the officials to be notified and deadlines to do so.

"It was in before and players haven't been following it," Gill said.

"You can say it was a breakdown in communication between two people... on both sides."

Participation in Hawke Cup games must be considered the pinnacle while defaults are to be avoided, with a deadlines and penalties for not doing so, the email states.

Gill explained as this was the first season of the re-formed Council of Clubs - the organisation responsible for the playing structure of senior club cricket - there was still teething issues to work through.

Among these will be a discussion about Collegiate's dilemma losing players at the tail end of the competition due to students leaving town for the holidays.

"Collegiate need to sit down and talk with us about the coming season and I dare say that will happen," said Gill.

While several of the local cricket fraternity spoke on and off the record about the December 1 situation, the email moves into damage control by stating the New Zealand Cricket code of conduct "has strict outcomes for players bringing the game into disrepute".

All channels must go through Gill, high performance manager Blair Jarrett and Hawke Cup manager Andrew Lock.

The "negative publicity" in the fallout from that weekend must never happen again, the email reads.

"Together we have built Cricket Wanganui up from financial ruin let's not spoil it now with petty differences rather continue working together to make our province strong."

The problems take some gloss off the fact Wanganui United again secured the Premier 1 one-day title and will take on Taranaki champions New Plymouth Marist United at Victoria Park on Saturday.

The winner will go into the Central District zone finals in an attempt to make the national club final.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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