Cricket's vision for the future

A FORUM next month about the future of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association is compulsory for select players and officials.

WDCA officials have requested two senior and two junior players, plus the highest-grade captain and president of each club to attend the landmark evening.

The move is a major sign officials want to employ a collaborative approach to ensuring the viability and strength of the WDCA in years to come.

The evening, dubbed the Cricket Futures Forum, is in the Walsh Room at Davidson Oval on February 25 from 7pm.

WDCA chairman Nick Frampton said the forum was open to anyone involved with cricket in the association.

He said officials wanted a “mandate” to develop a strategic plan for the first time in a decade.

Frampton said it was essential cricketers — from fresh-faced juniors through to hard-hitting seniors — were involved in the process.

“We’ve been talking about it for a while,” he said. “We realise there are possibly some things we need to review about the way the cricket association is running.

“We want the clubs to be involved in the process of review.  This isn’t a guarantee of widespread reform. We want to look for a ground-up review of everything and see if we’re doing everything the best possible way it can be done.”

Frampton said the forum would have “five or six” major topics, which organisers are finalising.

“Once these topics have been decided, to start with we’ll send the juniors off and they’ll go and answer one lot of questions,” he said.

“They might look at two-day cricket, then it’ll rotate around.  They’ll look at Twenty20 cricket or whether we’ll play all one-day matches in the future.

“We want to make sure everyone can say something.”

The forum comes after concerns south-west Victorians, particularly juniors, are losing interest in cricket.

The Standard revealed in November that 77 still-eligible juniors, about 18 per cent of the total player pool, were playing senior cricket in the WDCA. Some were talented enough to command spots while others were propping up lower-grade teams.

Frampton said the forum was not a knee-jerk reaction to calls for change but rather an acknowledgement that the WDCA could do things better.

“It’s not necessarily to make 1000 changes.  We might change nothing —  the outcome might be that everyone is happy with the way it’s going,” he said.

“In any organisation there should be a process of review from time to time to make sure what is being done is the best possible way and for the right reasons.”

People can submit topics to cover at the forum via the WDCA website. Clubs need to advise the WDCA of who will attend by February 11.

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