Letter from the Chairman
With the Ashes Series and Big Bash now completed it is a good time to update Members in relation to various matters of interest. I take this opportunity to wish all Members the best for 2018.
Our state team has shown considerable improvement this year under new coach Adam Griffith. We were sitting third at the half-way mark, but unfortunately had a disappointing game in Brisbane. However, the competition is so tight that we continue to sit only one game away from a top two position.
What has been pleasing this season is the return to form of Jordan Silk and the improvement we have seen from Doran, Doolan, Bell, Rainbird and Meredith. Unfortunately injuries have taken their toll with Faulkner, Bird, Silk and Bell all sitting out at the moment and with Tim Paine heading to South Africa it will test our reserve players for the remainder of the season. However, to date the season has been a success and we are on the right track.
Big Bash League
It was an excellent effort to reach the Big Bash Final where unfortunately we fell short in Adelaide. We bowled too short and wide and the Strikers made good use of the short square boundaries. The semi-final win in Perth against a Scorchers team boasting ten internationals was one of the Hurricanes’ best ever. Certainly the team has a steel and confidence under new coach Gary Kirsten. Jofra Archer proved a revelation and has been signed up for a further two years. D’Arcy Short has also re-signed for a further three seasons and negotiations continue to ensure that our squad remains together.
One thing to consider was that over the last 40 years Tasmanian men sides have played in 15 finals in all competitions. Our record away is 2-8 and at home 5-0. Accordingly, the best way to increase chances of success is to win during the home and away and get to play finals at home.
Expansion into Launceston
The Big Bash game played in Launceston was a huge success with almost 17,000 people attending. It is important from a financial point of view that the Hurricanes are seen as a Tasmania team not just a Hobart team. That will increase the chances of sponsorship whether from private or government and also increase membership sales. At this stage negotiations continue to return to Launceston next season.
Fixturing and crowds
Crowds were down in the Big Bash this season across the competition. Hobart was no exception. There have been several major factors which have been identified in lower crowds. First and foremost is the time and fixturing of games. Last year we had mostly weekend games starting early, whereas this season games were mid-week at 7.40 p.m. which is dictated by the television broadcaster. This means that the games do not finish until well after 11.00pm, making it very difficult for Hobart people to attend with young children and almost impossible for anyone from the north to attend, as they would not get home until 1-2 am.
We have made submissions to Cricket Australia and will continue to push for earlier games, particularly 4.20 pm on the weekends and at 6.40pm or 7.10pm. on week days.
Obviously we did not have a Test Match or One Day International this season. I have had some discussions with Cricket Australia and they accepted that Tasmania’s fixturing for this season was inadequate. Next season there will be no Test Match in Hobart, as that has been allocated to Canberra. However, discussions are continuing in relation to a marquee one day international fixture together with potentially other games such as a tour match. Also, given the success in hosting the Matador Cup Domestic One Day games this season we will be pushing for additional games next season, particularly involving our state team.
Our women’s teams have been disappointing this year, whether that be in the WNCL or Big Bash. Coach Julia Price has been advised that her coaching contract will not be renewed when it expires at the end of this season. Julia has been foremost in running our women’s program since inception and has done a fantastic job with limited resources. It was felt however, that a change was required. I take this opportunity to thank Julia for her efforts.
A full review was undertaken through High Performance Manager Drew Ginn. That indicated a number of factors that need to be addressed with our women’s program. There needs to be additional resources allocated, as we are expected to compete with the very strong mainland teams who inevitably are able to rely upon star Australian representatives in addition to international imports. There needs to be a focus on ensuring our squad is based in Tasmania and trains together. Our very strong commitment for 2018 is to ensure our women’s program is strong and is seen as best practice throughout Australia.
The Members lunches held on the Shield Days have been very successful. There were over 200 applications to attend these lunches and I am sure those who have attended have enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to raise any issues concerning membership. It will certainly be continued next season and I know the Membership Committee is looking at ways to value-add to membership. What needs to be ensured is that Members know they are receiving benefits over and above what they might get just from purchasing general admission.
This year also sees the 30-year anniversary of the move from the TCA Ground to Bellerive. There is a 30-year Member’s Lunch to be held on 6 March 2018 with some guest speakers from that era, which should be very entertaining.
George Bailey painting
Cricket Tasmania was pleased to receive a painting of George Bailey which was funded through the efforts of the Australian Cricket Society and donors Lyn and Judy Cox. That donation was much appreciated and the painting will hang with pride.
Awards and general recognition
Special recognition should be paid to Ricky Ponting who was rightly recognised by entry into the Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame and the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. Also, at the Allan Border Medal George Bailey received the Australian Domestic Male Player of the Year and Georgia Redmayne received the Young Female Player of the Year. Congratulations to all award winners and also to Ben McDermott who was nominated for Young Male Player of the Year. We should not forget also the achievement of D’Arcy Short in being named Big Bash League Player of the Year and achieving Australian representation.
Congratulations also to Tim Paine on his amazing and successful return to the Australian line up and to Jackson Bird for his Test selection in Melbourne and ongoing recognition in Australian squads.
It certainly augers well for the future when our players are achieving high individual honours such as these.
Members can rest assured that over the past twelve months the Cricket Tasmania Board and Management headed by CEO Nick Cummins have been working very hard to restore Tasmanian cricket to its rightful place at the top of Australian cricket. Things are progressing well but there is still more work to be done. All the signs however point to further success, not only this season but in the seasons ahead.
Cricket Tasmania Chairman