Coming into effect for the 2021-22 season, Cricket Tasmania will take ownership of the GNR program, which was initially established to compete in the Wilson Homes Cricket Tasmania Premier League (CTPL) ahead of the 2018-19 season, and has to this point been managed and resourced by the Cricket North and Cricket North West Boards, as well as dedicated volunteers from within the cricketing community. A review at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season identified strong support for the program in the region and the pathway it provides for players to represent Tasmania and the Hurricanes at the highest level, but to ensure the effectiveness and longevity of the program, further investment was required.
Cricket Tasmania will be employing a full-time Greater North High Performance Pathway Coach, and have also re-engaged Richard Bennett in a part-time capacity to provide increased management support to the GNR program. To manage the GNR, Bennett will be supported by a management committee comprising of Shane Wootton, Craig Elliott, Rob Eastoe, Lynne Hendley and Leigh Beardwood. The committee provides a wealth of experience in the greater north cricketing landscape and continuity for the program with Beardwood being the only member to have not previously been involved with the GNR program.
Cricket Tasmania General Manager - High Performance, Simon Insley, acknowledged the role of the North to the ultimate success of both the Tigers and Hurricanes on the national stage.
“From our recent review of the Greater Northern Raiders, the support for the program from the northern stakeholders was overwhelming. You only have to look back through the history of Tasmanian state representatives to appreciate how vital a Greater Northern pathway is. By further resourcing our pathway through to the Greater Northern Raiders, we are confident that we will develop both male and female players to represent the Tigers and Hurricanes on the national stage.
“By retaining these players and coaches in the North, there are benefits to the community competitions as well, with these players and coaches able to return and contribute to local cricket to when they aren’t competing in the program,” Insley added.
Work has already begun on preparations for the 2021-22 season, with Tim Coyle and Darren Simmonds joining Bennett in committing to the GNR as Head Coach for the Men’s and Women’s teams respectively.
Cricket Tasmania’s Head of Pathways, Ali De Winter said of the appointments, “All three individuals have played significant roles in the development of the Greater Northern Raiders in its short three-year history and had a tremendous impact. Furthering their involvement in the program by providing even more support to them will only serve to benefit more participants within the pathway.”