Premier grade for local cricket club
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.