New WDCA general manager says it's time for change

MICHAEL Harrison is a man of action, not words.

The Warrnambool milk bar proprietor and long-time sports administrator was late yesterday announced as the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association’s new general manager.

Harrison, who was secretary of the association in 2000-01, said his fears for the sport’s welfare had prompted him to apply for the part-time post.

“I’ve done a lot of talking about cricket over the past three months and it was probably time to see what I can do to help and see what we can do about it (the state of the game),” Harrison said.

“I’m looking forward to it. It will be a big challenge.”

WDCA chairman Nick Frampton announced Harrison’s appointment after a panel interview on Monday night.

Harrison said he had made his forthright views about cricket’s health known during the interview.

“It’s time cricket had an overhaul,” he said. “And all the clubs should have a good look at cricket — what should we do, what can be done, something that will make it more appealing to get cricketers back playing cricket.

“If you look at cricket, how many 20 to 28-year-olds are playing senior cricket now? We have to change things to make it more appealing.”

Harrison will start on Monday for one week working alongside incumbent Andrew Sloane, who resigned because of work and family commitments.

“The main thing is to get clubs talking about it and be guided by the clubs as to what we can do,” Harrison said.

“One would hope I will work well with the clubs on all issues and the future of cricket.

“The main thing is to communicate with the executive and the clubs and see what the state of play is. Have we got the right set-up? Have we got the right age groups? Are we playing on the right days? Everything has to be looked at. Hopefully after that we can make some changes and try and get a few more blokes playing cricket.”

Harrison is no stranger to sports administration. He was president of the Warrnambool and District Football Netball League for 9½ years, was a Hampden Football Netball League administrator for several years and served as West Warrnambool Cricket Club president for six years. He has been a West committee member for 12 years and is president of the North Warrnambool Eagles Football Netball Club.

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