Stal­warts say farewell to Cricket Welling­ton


Two of Cricket Welling­ton’s most prom­i­nent fig­ures Rob­bie Kerr and Mark Borth­wick are the first con­firmed de­par­tures of the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s re­struc­ture and more are set to fol­low.

In a state­ment, Cricket Welling­ton (CW) chief ex­ec­u­tive Cam Mitchell paid trib­ute to the pair, ‘‘who have cho­sen to pur­sue other op­por­tu­ni­ties’’.

Kerr, fa­ther of the White Ferns’ bright­est star Amelia Kerr, played first-class cricket for Welling­ton and was CW’s di­rec­tor of cricket since 2011.

Borth­wick spent 16 years with CW and was a long-time coach of the Welling­ton Blaze women’s team who he guided to two na­tional Twenty20 ti­tles, the most re­cent in 2015.

‘‘The ded­i­ca­tion and pro­fes­sion­al­ism with which Rob­bie and Mark have ap­proached their roles over long ca­reers at Cricket Welling­ton re­flects their pas­sion and char­ac­ter,’’ Mitchell said.

‘‘They have cre­ated pos­i­tive cricket ex­pe­ri­ences for many de­vel­op­ing Welling­ton crick­eters and coaches. For that, we are truly grate­ful.’’

Kerr and Borth­wick were among up to half CW’s 16 em­ploy­ees told last month their roles had been dis­es­tab­lished amid a ma­jor re­struc­ture.

It was the re­sult of a four­month in­de­pen­dent re­view of the or­gan­i­sa­tion com­mis­sioned by CW’s board in April, and led by for­mer Hil­lary Com­mis­sion (now Sport NZ) chief ex­ec­u­tive, Pe­ter Dale.

CW­would not com­ment on any other staff as it was an em­ploy­ment mat­ter.

Those fac­ing un­cer­tain fu­tures in­clude for­mer Black Caps bats- man Chris Nevin, head of CW’s com­mu­nity arm which is be­ing over­hauled, and prom­i­nent coaches Ivan Tis­sera and Rhys Mor­gan.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for five new full­timeCWjobs closed on Fri­day: three in the com­mu­nity arm and two in player path­ways to bet­ter iden­tify fu­ture Black Caps and White Ferns.

Mitchell and board chair Sally Mor­ri­son ear­lier this month con­firmed am­bi­tious plans for ‘‘a new op­er­at­ing model and cul­ture for the or­gan­i­sa­tion and cricket in our re­gion’’.

Kerr was made high per­for­mance man­ager in 2010 then di­rec­tor of cricket the fol­low­ing year.

He worked along­side for­mer coach Jamie Sid­dons and cur­rent coach Bruce Edgar in the high per­for­mance arm as the Fire­birds won three na­tional ti­tles in that time, the most re­cent the T20 Su­per Smash crown last sea­son.

‘‘There has been a lot of dis­cus­sion about what Cricket Welling­ton’s plans for the fu­ture mean for the cricket com­mu­nity. I be­lieve we’ll see pos­i­tive change ahead and I’m very sup­port­ive of the di­rec­tion the or­gan­i­sa­tion is mov­ing in,’’ Kerr said in a state­ment.

Borth­wick, from South Africa, coached ex­ten­sively at schools level in Welling­ton.

‘‘Watch­ing one of my U19 boys, Luke Wood­cock, de­but for the Fire­birds at the Basin where he top-scored in one in­nings and was the high­est wicket-taker in an­other, as well as get­ting cited by the um­pires for be­ing naughty was def­i­nitely a high­light,’’ Borth­wick said.

‘‘Other high­lights in­clude watch­ing James Franklin be­come an in­ter­na­tional crick­eter and hav­ing play­ers from my U17 na­tional ti­tle-win­ning team achieve in pro­fes­sional sport, with Ged Robin­son be­com­ing a Su­per Rugby player and Stephen Mur­doch be­com­ing a Fire­bird.’’

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