Legendary Counties Manukau cricket coach Alan Whimp has passed away at the age of 87 after a battle with cancer.
A life member of the Weymouth Cricket Club, the Counties Manukau Cricket Association and the Northern Districts’ Cricket Association, the popular figure has made a lasting contribution to the sport in the area that has yielded untold success.
Whimp was born and raised in Whangarei, and his love for cricket began at the age of four when his grandfather Charlie used to take him to the park to watch the adults play. It wasn’t long before he was asking around to see if any teams were short of players so he could fill in for them.
After finishing his own schooling at Whangarei Boys High School, he went into a teaching career – this spanned 35 years and took him to a number of schools across the North Island and even to the Cook Islands. His last role being principal at Weymouth Primary School.
Throughout his teaching career, his passion for playing and coaching cricket, wherever he was, never wavered. He arrived in the Counties region in 1975 and very quickly became an active member of Manurewa Cricket Club. His skills as a pace bowling coach were known nationally (many Black Caps turned to him for expert advice), and he was a leading light as a coach of youngsters across the entire country.
His list of feats in the region is huge, but to list just a few
- Was a founding member of the CMCA (then Franklin Cricket Association) Junior Cricket Board in 1978.
- Founded the Weymouth Cricket Club in 1984.
- Coached Counties Manukau Primary Boys Teams for 20 years (1980-2000)
- Was CMCA Director of Coaching from 1997 – 2001
- CMCA Board Member 2001 – 2009
- CMCA Vice President 2009 – Present Day
He has been recognised in many ways for his service to the game. Some of the most notable being:
- Life Member – Counties Manukau Cricket Association
- Life Member – Weymouth Cricket Club
- Life Member – Northern Districts Cricket Association
- 2007/08 Bert Sutcliffe Medal Winner – Awarded by New Zealand Cricket to one person nationally per year for outstanding services to the game.
- 2009 – ICC Centenary Medal Winner
The titles and offices give you an idea of his impact, but the true depth of his years of service lies in the thousands of young people who Whimp impacted in such a positive way as cricketers, but more importantly as people through his skills, passion and genuine care for all he worked with.
Former New Zealand fast bowler and Counties Manukau local Butler was one to have benefited from Whimp’s coaching, which stretched well beyond how to bat or bowl.
Butler made a touching Facebook post on the day of Whimp’s passing.
“What an incredible servant to NZ cricket,” Butler wrote. “Alan Whimp was one of the most passionate men I ever met. His absolute love for the game, desire to help everyone enjoy cricket and get better, was bettered only by his never-ending energy and a huge smile every time we caught up.
“From my youngest days he was my first port of call for advice, and I looked forward to seeing him walking around the grounds, likely hunting the pace bowlers that he so dearly loved working with.
“A man who inspired so many in our home-town area of Counties Manukau, and Northern Districts, Alan will go down as one of the most influential coaches and mentors ever.
“Even right to the end, you couldn’t speak to a better man about cricket. The excitement in his voice when we spoke the day after the World Test Championship final was electric, such a proud man who had seen Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kane Williamson and BJ Watling grow up, and become some of the best cricketers in the world. He was so proud and for a brief period you would never have known what he was battling.
“I cannot thank you enough for all you did for me Alan, RIP great man.”
The post prompted a number of comments from former players.
“What a great guy. The man who picked me for the first time. ND under 14s….. very fond memories of Alan. Sad to hear the news,” said former Black Caps all-rounder Scott Styris.
Alan Whimp 20/02/34 – 26/07/21.
Article Published by Counties Sports Hub