CD stalwarts not wanted
Two stalwart members of the Manawatu cricketing fraternity were taken by surprise when they found they were not wanted - by their own.
When Martin How and David Townend stood down from the Central Districts Cricket Association board by rotation, it effectively meant they lost their seats.
The Manawatu Cricket Association decided for the first time not to nominate either man and instead the association put up board member Dennis Radford, the former New Zealand Cricket board member and Manawatu association chairman.
The Horowhenua-Kapiti and Wanganui associations agreed to nominate How and Townend respectively, but both nominations arrived too late. CD chief executive Hugh Henderson polled the district chairmen to see whether late nominations would be accepted but that was rejected 6-2.
Needless to say, both men, of high standing in the sport, took the rejection hard. How is a former Manawatu board member and executive officer and has served CD since 2005.
Townend is the Manawatu association president, was the CD deputy chairman and has had 14 years on the CD management committees and boards and Manawatu since 1988.
"I was very disappointed," Townend said. "It's just their attitude and to put it bluntly, I'm over it. I've done nothing wrong as far as I know."
A week before nominations closed, he, How and Radford were asked to attend a Monday evening Manawatu association board meeting.
"They said they would listen to us and decide who they would nominate. I got a call on Wednesday night and was told, ‘we're only nominating one'."
Townend and How were left with only two days to find other backers and it proved to be too late. Mark Cleaver, who stepped aside as association chairman last year when appointed to the CD board, is the other Manawatu man on the CD board. "The beef I had was by the time I was told I was not going to be nominated, it was too late to be nominated," Townend said.
Association chairman Don Cleland would not spell out reasons. "I would rather not comment. There was a lot of debate about it. It was not one of the easiest decisions Manawatu has had to make."
A reason given Townend was that he had served his time, as president, and that would see him out.
Cleland said there were only so many vacancies and they were never sure how many people were going to stand. But though Radford was elected, it has left one vacancy still to be filled on the CD board.
"They have been long and loyal servants of cricket and Manawatu cricket and that is not in dispute," Cleland said. "Beyond that, I'd rather leave it."
Radford had unsuccessfully stood three years ago, when How and Townend were re-elected. A Manawatu association minute said then that Radford had felt discomfort about competing against two long-term respected friends and even this time he had changed his mind before standing.
When How was summoned to the Manawatu meeting, he got the feeling he did not have much to worry about. "The system is the system and we've got to wear what it throws at us. It has put me in my place as far as understanding when you are wanted.
He said the CD board had had issues recently but they were nothing to do with Manawatu.
"The fact that Manawatu has missed out on hosting games is nothing to do with CD, but directly to do with Manawatu getting their house in order."
- Manawatu Standard