Cricket Wanganui is playing it smart and taking time to reposition itself after the resignation of its general manager Dilan Raj late last month.

Raj left after running the sport for the association for 13 years, much of that time on a hands-on basis. Raj left to take up the role of director of cricket with the Manawatu Cricket Association, home of the Central Stags and Hinds.

Wanganui Cricket Association chairman Stu Gillespie conceded Raj left some big shoes to fill and that was why he and his board would be taking time out to fully consider what direction the sport would now head.

"We have had some discussions, including talks with Central Districts, to find out exactly what we need and in what direction we will head," Gillespie said.


"Dilan has obviously been part of that in his new role in Manawatū. Cricket in Whanganui is quite unique and while we will be looking at talking to other associations any plan we come up with will be tailored to what is best for Whanganui."

From November 1, Raj has been the new director of cricket in Manawatū, a role that is not completely unfamiliar to him.

Raj is well known to many cricket communities through his role with Cricket Wanganui and his various coaching roles with Central Districts Cricket and New Zealand Cricket.

Simon Aitken, treasurer of the Wanganui Cricket Association, put Raj's move south in perspective.

"For the past 13 years, Dilan has driven the sport in Whanganui and now moves on to Manawatu and Central Districts cricket," Aitken said at the time of Raj's departure last month.

"We have always worked closely with CD and will continue to do so, given that there is going to be a greater level of co-operation and understanding with Dilan at the helm down there. The Whanganui association will obviously need to evaluate what is needed as we move forward and, in fact, we are already in that process. We will continue that process in more depth over the coming weeks.

"With Dilan working in Manawatū he will not be totally lost to us, so it should be a smooth transition."

Gillespie said Cricket Wanganui may be in a position to make a decision by Christmas.


"In the meantime, cricket continues to be played in Whanganui at all levels, including junior. We have a great opportunity to move forward and we have purposely taken in slow to make sure we get it right. I would say we should be in a position to make an announcement by Christmas," Gillespie said.

Raj has left an enviable legacy, although he will continue to be a large part of one of his proudest achievements - the Cricket Express Whanganui Summer Festival of Cricket.

The festival traditionally includes an U18 girls' tournament - next year running from January 3-6 - and the more popular U15 girls' tournament featuring sides from each of the six association zones in New Zealand. That tournament is set down for January 7-10.

The U15 tournament in particular has proven a breeding ground for future White Ferns, with Hannah Rowe, Amelia Kerr and Wanganui's own Jess Watkin making the transition over the years.

+ The Whanganui Chronicle has four tickets (valued at $60) to the Ford Trophy clash between the Central Stags and Canterbury in Palmerston North on Sunday. Both sides boast a number of Black Caps.

One lucky reader can win the tickets by answering this question: Which Whanganui men's rep player also plays for the Central Stags? Email answers to by 1pm on Friday to be in to win.