The move to give Weymouth and especially Waiuku cricket clubs premier status for the 2021-22 season will have a significant impact on the sport in the region.
While the Weymouth bid sees another team based in the large population base of suburban South Auckland it is the Waiuku bid that creates interest.
Waiuku will combine with fellow rural clubs Mauku and Tuakau to give the southern part of the region a second premier side behind Pukekohe Metro.
“I think it has probably been a real labour of love,” Waiuku club president Darrell Abbott told Counties Sports Hub. “The most important thing is that it is not just Waiuku – it is going to be Waiuku, Mauku and Tuakau coming together and creating – for the kids and cricketers around here – a pathway to the topflight again.
“We are really excited to see the three clubs come together and build something that is important to the community and certainly for cricket going forward.”
Abbott said the way to premier cricket wasn’t to try and go it alone and that discussions with other clubs has been in the works for a while.
“It is something that has been on the cards for long time,” he explained. “It was talked about long before I was involved. I think it is just the right moment in time.
“Between us we have successful and keen cricketers that want to play in that topflight and looking at our clubs by ourselves it just wasn’t going to happen that quickly.
“The numbers we have – it would be challenging to see how any of us would be able to do it again.
“You look at the other clubs around here – Karaka and Pukekohe – there are only 22 spots available every Saturday for those that want to play premier cricket.
“By combining our forces, still retaining our history, we have created another 11 spaces for those who want to play premier cricket in this region.”
The idea behind the plan sees players within the three clubs being able to move freely between the respective teams.
“We are just working that through with Counties but that is the intent – we will work as a singular club, but it is really important to keep our identities,” Abbott said.
“Logistically we are looking at the Premier side being run out of Waiuku and using the Waiuku ground. The Senior A side will be run out of Tuakau and then Senior Bs will depend on the numbers that we all have – whether we all have individual sides or whether we do something similar and have a combined side.”
Article by Counties Sports Hub