The 23rd Annual General Meeting of the South Western Districts Cricket Board was held at Oudtshoorn on Saturday. In his Presidential Address, SWDCB President, Rudy Claassen described the past season as one of the most challenging in the last ten years which earmarked a new era for SWD Cricket.
The biggest challenge since the province became a full affiliate of CSA in February 2013 is to finalize its shareholder status within the Cricket Eastern Cape structure. “As the leadership all our energy will be directed towards resolving this matter as it is critical for the future of SWD Cricket specifically in terms of commercial value, hosting of high profile events, television coverage and the upgrading of our stadium” he said.The adopted government demarcation framework will also influence the outcome of this process.
The senior provincial team did not have the best of seasons in the CSA Provincial Three Day competition but the team however recorded much better performances in the One Day and Twenty20 competition where they fell one victory short in winning the One Day competition and qualifying for the Twenty20 competition respectively.The captain, Ross McMillan, had a good all-round performance and was the top-batsman in the Twenty20 with 324 runs at an average of 108 (3 fifties) and received the Cricket South Africa Provincial Twenty20 player of the season award. Another achievement that definitely needs special mention is the conferral of Life membership of CSA to mr S.P. Swigelaar, our Honorary Life President at last year’s Cricket SA AGM in October.
The Executive committee in August 2013, made the appointment of a High Performance Coach to fill the void in the high performance program. The appointment of Mr Andre du Plessis proved to be a successful one given the improved performances of of junior teams at National weeks. In order to further elevate our coaching structures the position of Coaching Manager and Head coach of the senior provincial team has also been separated. Garry Hampson, who will continue as the Coaching Manager served the province the past five seasons as head coach of the senior team.
The inclusion of Richard Maree in the SA Colts team is evident that the high performance program is on track. Claassen also extended a special word of thanks to Chevrolet for their financial contribution towards this program.
CSA placed a huge emphasis on its transformation program with specific reference to the Black African Development program. A high performance coach, Siyabonga Nkosana, who is responsible for the development of elite Black African players took office on 1 May 2014. Thembalethu Cricket Club also underlined the quality to the program when they qualified for promotion to the premier league in 2014/15.
From an income revenue perspective the income from the main source, Cricket South Africa, decreased by almost R2 million. This put a significant strain on progressing with the allocation of resources to various programs. Management however continued with investments towards the SWD’s strategic plan with the aim to provide opportunities for effective and active participation for all affiliated clubs to enhance a competitive cricket culture.
At club level the NMMU George campus reaped the fruits of an initiative and investment whereby this institution was identified as a cricketing growth centre when they became the SWD Premier League champions in their first season in the top club echelon.
The aggressive recruitment of additional sources of revenue will be high on the priority on the short- and medium term. These funds will be essential to sustain specific programs but will also be much needed to improve our stadium with the aim to host high profile events and in the process generate further revenue.