Hamish Bidwell
Those people who thought a seat on the Hawke's Bay Cricket Association (HBCA) management committee would make Craig Findlay happy are in for a rude shock.
A day on from yesterday's forum and special general meeting, Findlay has hit out at his new committee colleagues, claiming they are allowing petty politics to blight the game's chances of moving ahead in this province.
Findlay, along with father and former HBCA chairman, Harry Findlay, and Donna Trow, was elected to the committee yesterday. The trio were among those candidates who polled low, which was no surprise to Craig, just a disappointment.
He says people are more motivated by their dislike of the three of them, than the interests of cricket in Hawke's Bay. He finds it equally disappointing that in retaining seven existing committee members, they are, in fact, endorsing the 2004-05 regime.
"I guess they must be happy with the Mickey Mouse things that went on here last season," Findlay said.
"That's the only way I can read it. I personally thought things needed to change and that there were a few issues that needed to be discussed, but obviously not.
"People are obviously happy with the management committee and the way they ran things."
In Findlay's opinion, the HBCA was completely beset by problems last season and yesterday's forum should have been a beauty. Yet apart from himself, representative men's coach Jim Cotterell and the Cornwall pair of David Black and Anton Lucas, no one came with any new ideas or concepts to discuss.
"I was very impressed with Jim," Findlay said.
"He'd obviously put a bit of thought into it and came up with some constructive ideas. I particularly liked the one about each club having an overseas pro, but as soon as he brought it up, people were immediately grumbling about it being difficult, or hard work.
"That's what I'm talking about. People are so worried about trying to block myself and Harry and Donna. They need to put their petty club and personality issues aside and work for the good of the game.
"The big thing to come out from the meeting was for the clubs to go away and think about the issue of governance. But if you look at the minutes, we had this discussion last year and it was put back into the hands of the clubs to go away and examine.
"Well, where are we? We're still talking about it. I can tell you one thing, now that I'm on the committee I can guarantee you we'll be getting governance."
That structure would mean this new committee effectively voting itself out of existence, in favour of a board, with a chief executive having the autonomy to run the operation at his or her discretion.
Typical of the inefficiency of the current operation, Findlay says, is the situation that exists with the appointment of a full-time development officer.
The position has been advertised, applications have been received, but no one has been given the job.
Outgoing chairman Michael Barbour told the meeting that "there are one or two issues to sort out" and that the applicants have been notified that a decision has been put on hold.
Findlay says any decent organisation would have resolved such issues well before it advertised, but not the HBCA.
Those issues and the appointment of a new chairman and more discussion on the governance proposal will have to wait until May 16, when the new committee will sit down for the first time.