Cooper faces up to a daunting challenge

Northern Districts chief executive David Cooper has been handed the daunting task of "transforming and elevating the profile" of domestic cricket.

Some may consider Cooper's new role as general manager, domestic cricket with New Zealand Cricket the on-field equivalent of facing over after over of bouncers from Dale Steyn.

But while Cooper acknowledged the onerous task, he welcomed the opportunity to continue similar initiatives he has pursued with ND.

"I've got no doubt [it's daunting], otherwise there wouldn't be a job for me to go to," Cooper said.

"But it's an exciting opportunity and a challenge."

Cooper's job is to work with the six major associations overseeing marketing, advertising, promoting and event management for the HRV Cup, Ford Trophy and Plunket Shield.

"The job is something ND and myself personally have been advocates for, for a while now, so it's time for me to test that out.

"We want to make the domestic game more appealing to a lot of different stakeholders and grow it into a product enjoyed by many many people."

NZ Cricket boss David White said Cooper was ideally suited to the role.

"The new GM domestic cricket is an important role in transforming and elevating the profile of NZC's men's domestic competitions and we are delighted to appoint someone so well-qualified for the position.

"David will bring a wealth of experience and understanding of domestic cricket from his past playing days and recent involvement in cricket administration," White said.

"He already has strong relationships with the six major associations and the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association and will work collaboratively with them to enhance and promote a high quality domestic competition that will captivate both players and spectators."

Cooper, who will start the new job in January but also continue to work with ND until the end of the England tour of New Zealand at the end of February, has been ND chief executive for eight years.

In that time, the association's top side has won the Plunket Shield and the one-day title three times apiece, while the Knights have provided a swag of players for the national side.

"Part of me over the last month has really struggled to think that I'm going to be leaving the association and people that have given me so much," said Cooper, who said his highlights ranged from the success of international matches hosted by the association to attracting 30,000 participants in cricket within the region.

Waikato Times