Cricket Tasmania has today announced that a team representing the Greater North will be entering the Cricket Tasmania Premier League (CTPL) from 2018/19 onwards.
The early 2017 Hussey Review identified that with all Premier Cricket Clubs currently based in Southern Tasmania, players residing in Northern Tasmania with aspirations to progress in Tasmania’s Cricket pathway, were being held back by the need to relocate to Hobart or travel regularly.
Cricket Tasmania has completed a feasibility report into a Premier Cricket side representing the Greater Northern area, which received significant stakeholder support and genuine momentum in the region.
One of those backers is former Tasmanian Cricket Coach Tim Coyle.
“To maintain a strong ‘whole’ state approach to high performance cricket, this needed to happen for Tasmania,” he said.
“The team will present a clearer pathway for northern cricketers and stretch the current players in a much tougher competition.
“The production of first class talent from the state’s north and north-west has been of paramount importance to our on-field success and this team, and the program to support it, will be important for reviving and maintaining this production line.”
The new team means that players living in Northern Tasmania will have the opportunity to participate in Premier Cricket – as the base of cricket’s High Performance pathway and the step before state cricket – without needing to relocate or travel to Hobart.
The side will play matches on a home and away basis throughout the CTPL season, with players also able to participate with their Greater Northern club based on selection or scheduling.
The team will be governed under the auspices of Cricket North, with the next stage being the establishment of a Management Committee to be chaired by former Tasmanian first-class player Richard Bennett.
“The Cricket North Board is extremely excited about the prospect of young northern Tasmanian cricketers being able to participate in the CTPL,” Cricket Tasmania Director & Cricket North Chair Paul Clark said.
“They will have the opportunity to really showcase their talents for a better chance at progressing along the Cricket pathway.”
Fellow Cricket Tasmania Director Chris Mitchell also voiced his support.
“This initiative received strong Cricket Tasmania board support, and will enable our northern regional cricketers to compete at the highest level of grade cricket possible in Tasmania, on an equal footing,” he said.
“It will assist our northern cricketers compete against the best players in the state, week in week out, without having to relocate to Hobart immediately.
“Northern Tasmanian cricket has always provided rich talent for our State and National teams, and it’s imperative that we at Cricket Tasmania continue to identify potential State players from the north.”
Expressions of interest to be involved in the team at a management or coaching level are currently being sought, with anyone interested able to contact Cricket Tasmania’s Cricket Operations Manager Chris Garrett – firstname.lastname@example.org
In the coming weeks, stakeholder forums will be held on items such as the team’s name and colours.
The side will play in the first grade competition only, and it’s anticipated a female team will be added to the program in the coming couple of seasons.