STEPHEN Field's decision making in a 25-year stint at Cricket Victoria came down to one question - will this benefit cricket?
Field's tenure at Cricket Victoria ended last month as the body slashed around 60 positions from its 140-strong workforce, but his legacy remains.
Field, known as 'Fiddler', was instrumental in lifting the profile of the Western Waves, the region's top junior talent pathway.
The Waves granted 46 junior state players with over 100 representations under the former regional manager's watch.
Eight first-class players and one Australian in Georgia Wareham have debuted.
When the pathway started in 2000, the region boasted just two active first grade premier cricketers. Now, there are around 20. Field estimates there are another 20 plying their trade in lower premier grades.
I look back on my 25 years at Cricket Victoria with a great deal of gratitude to all the volunteers at club and association level that have supported me and the great game of cricket.Stephen Field
The under 17 female side won last season's state championship - the program's fifth overall title - and the season before the Waves finished second in the region championship.
Field is proud of its legacy and his quarter-century dedication in helping it and the region's top young talent thrive.
"I look back on my 25 years at Cricket Victoria with a great deal of gratitude to all the volunteers at club and association level that have supported me and the great game of cricket," he told The Standard.
"There have been a number of incredible highlights from coaching overseas in places like Japan, Holland, Singapore and England and working with some of the most talented young players across the state, to all the great trips, meetings and get-togethers with passionate cricket people.
"I think cricket enables people to tell stories - usually about how good they once were, but the history that surrounds the game is incredible and I wish I had taken more notes and taken more photos of people, places and happenings to reflect on later in life."
Uncertainty is still hanging over the future of the Youth Premier League, the competition in which both male and female Western Waves teams play.
Cricket Victoria is understood to be considering a new model but is yet to release official details.
Field said it was vital for the body to ensure "the gap between metro and regional cricketers does not become too large".
"The changes at Cricket Victoria on the surface appear to discriminate against country and regional cricketers and in particular those areas that have really driven the growth in girl's cricket," he said.
"But it also provides opportunity for those broad thinkers to contemplate other options to encourage the aspirational player and to ensure that the gap between metro and country does not become too large.
"It's vital that administrators quickly look to ways of providing the best possible representative model should the Youth Premier League be abandoned."
Despite the lack of clarity on future pathways, Field is hopeful the sport will emerge stronger.
"The Western Waves have had some incredible contributors at regional level over a long period with (former president) Kelvin White a beacon for all others to follow," he said.
"There are so many others who do this day in day out for their clubs and associations as well and while initially there may be some pain, I am personally confident that the game will always triumph here because we have had to fight the hardships of being more remote and are engineered to show initiative.
"If I could have one wish is that every player that played junior cricket at some point go and get involved coaching or helping with a junior team. The game would be enormous if that was the case."
And for the future? Field plans to spend time with family, having worked countless Sundays and school holidays in his role.
He will mix work with his cricket soil business - North Field Soil - relief teaching and coaching.
His first priority around coaching is that his children have support around their cricket ambitions.
"There have been a number of requests around coaching and at this stage I'm being careful not to get pinned down too much and make sure my own children have support with their cricket ambitions," he said.
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