Frampton back to head WDCA

NICK Frampton will remain as chairman of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA).

Frampton, the only nomination for the role, was elected unopposed during an at times tense WDCA annual meeting at the Whalers Hotel last night.

Gordon McLeod will be the senior vice-chairman and Bruce Membrey the junior vice-chairman. Both were the only nominations for the roles.

Tony Brown, Andrew Sloane, Glenn Dalton and Ray Drew complete a seven-member executive team for the upcoming season.

Brown was up for re-election and received clubs’ endorsement while Sloane and Dalton answered calls for new blood. Drew is in the middle of a two-year term.

But the ongoing saga of who will manage umpiring in the WDCA remains unresolved and caused much conjecture among club delegates who attended.

The WDCA and Warrnambool Cricket Umpires’ Association  (WCUA) will have mediation next Tuesday, having been rescheduled from this Thursday.

The issue — which dates back to April when the WDCA proposed taking over the management of umpiring — almost derailed the meeting not long after it started. General manager Michael Harrison told the meeting Frampton was the only nomination for the chairmanship and called for people to move and second the appointment.

The ensuing silence was followed by a question of whether the WCUA was willing to work with the board if Frampton remained in charge.

The answer from WCUA secretary Sean Cole, an observer in the room, was an emphatic ‘no’  — unless there was a drastic change in his group’s position. “The umpires will be going to the mediation to see what comes out of that. There are things prior that have happened that need clarification,” Cole said.

The delegates had a chance to postpone electing office- bearers but opted to persevere, meaning Frampton retained the role he has had since June, 2012.

But umpiring remained a touchy subject throughout, with Woodford captain John Houston among those wanting a resolution.

“We don’t want to come back in a month’s time with umpires walking out and we’ve got 10 umpires who haven’t umpired a game of cricket,” he said.

The drama surrounding the election of office-bearers overshadowed the awarding of life membership to two stalwarts of the WDCA.

Dennington’s Terry Beks and Brierly-Christ Church’s Dave Ryan received the honour to applause, with Beks present to learn of the confirmation.

The WDCA financial statement showed income of $134,862.83 and expenses of $109,909.17 for a profit of $24,953.66. Grants made up $25,998.46 of the income.

Treasurer Maureen Membrey announced her resignation at the meeting and the WDCA is on the hunt for a replacement.

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