Pre­mier grade for lo­cal cricket club

Taupo Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - SUP­PLIED

Taupo’s new­est cricket club went un­beaten in their first sea­son and has now been pro­moted into the Bay of Plenty Bay­wide Pre­mier grade.

GM Pain­ters Lake Taupo Cricket Club (LTCC) only started last year and had a stella first sea­son.

The club went un­de­feated in the West­ern Bay of Plenty Re­serve grade and the B team had a very suc­cess­ful sea­son in the lo­cal Taupo/Ro­torua com­pe­ti­tion.

Club cap­tain, Hed­ley Dar­ling­ton, said mak­ing the pre­mier grade was not only a mas­sive op­por­tu­nity for their club but for Taupo cricket in gen­eral.

‘‘Our goal of pro­vid­ing a true path­way to higher hon­ours for young as­pir­ing crick­eters is now a re­al­ity,’’ he said.

‘‘Years ago, play­ers like for­mer Black­cap Gareth Hop­kins had to leave town to fur­ther his cricket ca­reers but now we should be able to at­tack and hold onto play­ers of a high stan­dard.’’

Part of the cri­te­ria in gain­ing pro­mo­tion is de­vel­op­ing ju­nior cricket. That means the club will now work closely with the Taupo Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion to as­sist at the ju­nior lev­els.

‘‘It’s very im­por­tant to have a strong con­nec­tion be­tween se­nior and ju­nior grades es­pe­cially at the col­lege level where player drop-off is high no mat­ter what the sport is,’’ Dar­ling­ton said.

The new grade will be a real test of the club’s abil­ity as other clubs, po­ten­tially, have past or present Black­caps or North­ern District rep’s play­ing when they’re avail­able.

‘‘The boys are re­ally ex­cited about the pos­si­bil­ity of fac­ing the likes of Trent Boult or Corey An­der­son and it would be a great ex­pe­ri­ence for our lo­cal play­ers.’’

LTCC plan to make the most of the ‘two over­seas play­ers’ rule and will have ac­com­mo­da­tion, meals and em­ploy­ment pack­ages to help lure play­ers to Taupo.

The club also plans to have their over­seas play­ers go­ing into schools to coach cricket.

Dar­ling­ton said LTCC is look­ing for­ward to en­ter­ing at least a cou­ple so­cial teams into the lo­cal twi­light cricket com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘We want to cater for all cricket play­ers within a club en­vi­ron­ment whether it be pre­mier, re­serves or so­cial lev­els,’’ he said.

If any­one is in­ter­ested in play­ing cricket this com­ing Sum­mer sea­son, get in touch with Dar­ling­ton on 021 083 74167 or go to the club’s Face­book page.

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