No guarantees for Southland, says Gerry Ward

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 12/04/2014

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Southland Cricket Association chairman Gerry Ward reiterated the quest to ensure the sustainability of the sport when he addressed the province's cricket community at a end of season function on Thursday night.

Ward talked about everyone involved in cricket pulling together to play a role in ensuring the sport is safeguarded in the years to come.

That included financially, playing numbers, and the quality of players that Southland were able to produce.

Financially Ward said they "had their head on the water, not below it" at the moment, but needed to be smart about what they did to ensure the future was bright.

"There is a need to look at the management and duties of staff now, as those funders like the ILT who support us so generously have indicated that there are no guarantees around the future dollar amounts and that is an issue we need to work through with them," Ward said.

Ward was encouraged with the 19 senior teams they had playing this season and said they needed to work hard to retain those numbers. He said that was a task for everybody involved with the sport to take on.

"I feel there is a need to lift our volunteer base and would love to see more former players involved in that capacity. I hear grumblings but don't always see those people front where they can and the game needs all the human resourcing it can obtain. Help in schoolboy and age-group cricket would also assist in an area where we have a crucial need."

Meanwhile, Craig Smith and Michael Grattan won the major awards on Thursday night.

Smith won the Southland Hawke Cup cricketer of the year, while Albion's Michael Grattan was named Southland club cricketer of the year.

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- The Southland Times

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