The Ipswich West Moreton Cricket Association is holding meetings with Ipswich clubs to discuss and find solutions to the major issues affecting the game in Ipswich.
The Ipswich West Moreton Cricket Association is holding meetings with Ipswich clubs to discuss and find solutions to the major issues affecting the game in Ipswich.

Clubs given vital voice

THE Ipswich and West Moreton Cricket Association is taking positive steps to solve the problems within the game.

The association held the first of a series of forums last weekend, designed to nut out issues affecting cricket in Ipswich and trying to find solutions.

Presidents and representatives from most Division One clubs were at the Ipswich Turf Club for the first meeting on Saturday.

“It involved a presentation on submissions from a number of clubs,” IWMCA president Peter Leschke said.

“We’re asking all the clubs to be involved in a review.

“Some of it is opening things up for discussion.

“Some of it was provocative.

“We’re starting to get some things we’re starting to focus on.”

One agenda the IWMCA is keen to address is improving relations between rival clubs.

“Club harmony, the way they treat each other and the way we conduct ourselves” was Leschke’s way of saying a stop has to be put to the animosity.

It spilled over in the Division One grand final, with the sort of sledging and umpire dissent that would make Shane Warne blush.

“It has been taken on board and we’re pleased with the responses,” Leschke said.

The president hopes to make next season a “club harmony year” and believes opening dialogue between the clubs is a good way to start.

“It is more about trying to work together and respecting each other,” Leschke said.

“You’ve got to have an opposition to play.

“The communication between clubs is probably not as good as it should be.

“It has drifted for a while.

“We need to make an effort to get together and talk a bit more.”

Another topic up for debate is the number of teams in each division.

“There will be a review of the structure of all grades,” Leschke said. “How many teams in each ideally.

“What playing circumstances we have for the lower grades so we can open up opportunities for more part-time cricketers.”

That meant looking at alternative times and pitches less serious cricketers could use to suit them, including the prospect of playing on synthetic pitches.

Leschke expects the review to be complete with recommendations out by the middle of the year.

The next club delegates meeting is on May 23, at which these and other issues will be discussed.

There will also be a review of junior cricket, looking at ways to increase participation.

“The way rugby league uses Friday night for junior development” was one example Leshke said the IWMCA would discuss.

“We’ll see if we can use similar concepts so we can free up weekends for parents.”