Player dearth forces South Canterbury to pull out
Lack of available players means South Canterbury cricket will not send a girls' team to the South Island secondary schools tournament.
Cricket South Canterbury acting chief executive Mark Medlicott said a squad of about 16 started training six weeks ago but several of the senior players pulled out.
"Courtney Buckman was also selected for the Canterbury Magicians side and wasn't available.
"Three of the better players pulled out over the next week and before long we were down to eight, then five."
Despite work by cricket development officer Shane Gilkinson with Canterbury Cricket to get a solution, it was not successful, Medlicott said.
Several of the girls' parents who were left decided it was not worth going with an under-strength team and especially as they had to foot a percentage of the cost.
"Also we needed to cancel accommodation, van hire, caterers and give the tournament organisers a chance to adapt their tournament."
Medlicott said the decision to pull out was disappointing but the fact that there were only two secondary school teams - Timaru Girls' High School and Craighead - had also had an impact.
Former chief executive Tony Lewis, during his brief stay, had said growing the girls' numbers was to be a focus.
Medlicott said despite re-arranged playing times and locations to suit the teams' requests, it had not led to an expansion of the competition at this stage.
"We have a strong year 7 to 8 group of girls training at present and these girls generally play in the mixed JAB teams.
"Also we are looking at new ideas for integrating secondary girls' cricket in with boys' cricket, perhaps in fourth grade as a way of strengthening both competitions in the new year or next season."
Medlicott said this could make it easier for the primary girls to continue on.
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