OCA-driven club model looks likely

George Morris
George Morris
Dunedin club cricket looks set for a change in the way it is administered.

The club competition is run by the Dunedin Cricket Association but it appears poised to take a back seat so the Otago Cricket Association can take a more active role.

The proposed change comes about because of a New Zealand Cricket review which recommended cricket in Dunedin needed a single organisation to drive the game forward rather than a two-pronged approach.

DCA chairman George Morris told the Otago Daily Times there were two proposals on the table but the consensus was to ''go with the OCA-driven model''.

''Either Dunedin Cricket take a greater responsibility, which means having to become employers of people and stuff like that, or there is a two-year pilot scheme whereby Otago Cricket does that,'' Morris said.

The DCA is expected to reach a decision on which proposal to adopt when it meets next week.

Morris said there was ''lots of detail'' to be worked out but he expected the model would still involve the DCA in some form ''but ultimately Otago Cricket will be responsible''.

Morris said the proposed changes ''should not have any impact'' on University-Grange's bid to return to senior grade.

University-Grange dropped out of the grade four years ago but the club is hoping to make a return this summer.

With club cricket player numbers dwindling during the past 10 years, University's return would hail a rare victory for a sport struggling for traction at the grassroots.

OCA's Andrew Petrie worked on the proposal and he is hopeful it will usher in an era of better alignment and help strengthen the game.

''We're trying to find the best structure to deliver cricket in Dunedin going forward,'' Petrie said.

''Having two organisations ... can result in confusion, I guess.''

Shifting to the new administrative model will create a more nimble organisation which can make decisions for the betterment of the sport, whereas in the past the clubs have perhaps been resistant to change or had their own agenda.

''You are spot on in some way there. It is a little bit about that,'' Petrie said.

''But it is also about speed as well - when it comes to decision-making and being able to make decisions on the spot.

''It means you can align everything around the competition.''

If the proposed model is adopted, it will be reviewed at the end of the two-year trial period.

Switching to a paid administrative model might reduce the clubs' power, but it is clear cricket needs to adapt.

The rate of decline in youth participation during the past 10 years is double that of other comparable team sports.

Nationally, an average of 32 youth teams drop off the radar each year, and seniors numbers are also in decline.

The national body is concerned clubs are too male-dominated and do not offer playing options for females. It wants to see much more work done to encourage females to take up the sport.

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