The South Western Districts Cricket Board (SWDCB) that has been awarded associate status by Cricket SA in the 2004/05 season and has since grown into a formidable Union to be reckoned with not only on the playing field but in terms of administration as well. This opening statement in his presidential address by Rudi Claassen, who is in the hot seat since September 2004, was evident in the other operational reports that were tabled at the 21st Annual General Meeting of the SWDCB that was held in Oudtshoorn on Friday evening. This growth from its infancy as a rural Sub-Union of Boland in 2001 to its current position of an exemplary province embodies the energy and vision of the young, but involved collective leadership that permeates throughout the whole cricket fraternity in the province.
The highlight of the past year the most memorable highlight is undoubtedly the awarding of conditional affiliate status to SWD Cricket at the Annual General meeting of Cricket SA that was held in Port Elizabeth during August 2011.
In October 2011 the office staff moved into the newly constructed office complex at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn that also makes provision for a President suite and a conference room that was named after a stalwart of SWD cricket, the legendary mr SP Swigelaar. Claassen expressed the Board’s thanks towards the National Lotteries Board for their financial support in this regard. The construction of new cloakrooms and players suites has already started and will be completed before the commencement of the new season. The second phase are funded by grants from the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund (Sport and Recreation) to the value of R750 000 and R300 000 from a new partner, the SA Sports Trust.
The flagship team, the SWD senior team had a superb season in the Cricket South Africa provincial competition where the men from the Southern Cape missed out by a whisker to win the CSA Provincial Three Day Challenge. Three players also excelled in the national batting and bowling averages for the 2011/12 season.
• Gurshwin Rabie, the SWD main strike bowler was the most impressive. With 62 (eight for the Warriors and 54 for SWD) scalps, he bagged the most wickets in South African first class cricket the past season and he also topped the bowling averages with 14.87.
• Christiaan Jonker, with 1189 runs (five centuries and four fifties) was the top runs scorer in first class cricket. With an average of 59.45 he finished 9th overall on the list of averages.
• The versatile captain, Ross McMillan, with 19 wickets at an average of 12.42 finished on top of the national limited over bowling averages.
Gurshwin Rabie and Ross McMillan were awarded the CSA Provincial Three Day Player and One Day Player of the Year respectively at the Cricket SA Breakfast Awards that was held in Johannesburg the past season. Marcello Piedt was selected for the SA Schools XI last year after the U/18 Coca Cola Khaya Majola cricket week and the province also continue to produce players for the Warriors Cubs and Warriors Colts teams. These achievements are evident that the development and coaching programs in the region are indeed on track and that SWD do have the ability to produce players on the highest level. Bernadine Bezuidenhout was included in the SA Schools Girls team for the third consecutive year.
With regard to infrastructure development more than R 500 000 was spent this past financial year in areas such as Beaufort West, Riversdale, Plettenberg Bay, Calitzdorp and Ladismith. Another R750 000 will be used for the upgrading of facilities, equipment and apparel through grant funding. This confirms the commitment to make quality cricket facilities accessible to all clubs and schools and to grow the game in the province.
Much effort has been made to facilitate the mainstreaming of Black African cricket and as part of the SWDCB development plan an emphasis has being placed on the development of black Africans cricketers in the district. The Thembalethu and Bongolethu cricket clubs are functioning well and the next two areas that have been identified are Mossel Bay and Bitou.
The financial figures shows a net loss of R79,228 versus a profit of R276,963 in 2010/11 with an increase of 23.19% in revenue and other income. The total operational expenses increased from R5.6mil to R7.4mil whilst the Balance Sheet shows a positive bank balance of R1.559mil.
The council also approved the new affiliation of Albertinia and Kranshoek Cobra’s (PlettenbergBay) whilst the proposed amended constitution was also approved carrying a two thirds majority of the votes.