|Posted on 14 April, 2017 at 3:20|
10 years ago at a Footscray Edgewater Season Launch Tony Dodemaide had just been appointed the Cricket Victoria CEO and he told the audenience that “1/3 of all cricket played in Australia is being played in Victoria”.
On the back of that statement, there can be no excuse for those in charge of the game in Victoria, because had they been successful Victorian cricketers would be knocking the Test Selectors doors down and a stream of highly talented cricketers would be flowing interstate where the game is not so strong.
Cricket Victoria (CV) is failing our game at the “Milo grass roots level” and in every other development area associated with it and it is for this reason alone Victorian Cricket needs needs fresh blood at the top, we need to remove the dead wood and replace them those who can anticipate change and for this you need vision, expertise, energy and be prepared to listen to cricketers with coaching experience and ideas. Otherwise our young players will continue to be discouraged and this is not what the game is about in Victoria.
We must instruct technique to execute the disciplines of the game starting from Milo, provide opportunity not denying it, educate our cricketers about traditions and the responsibility they have to those who will follow us. We require selection criteria to encourage youthful aspiration, invigorate cricket clubs to pursue junior development through the concept of participation.
This might sound very harsh since during Tony's his reign the Bushrangers have won 3 Sheffield Shields... but not as Victoria!
“Smoke and mirrors” is what Victorian Cricket has got and a CEO who boasts to Jon Pierik of the Melbourne Age that “Victorian Cricket” is in a great space.
The truth is that the CEO and his Board are under great pressure from the CV shareholders (Premier Clubs & Associates).
This doesn't deter Tony Dodemaide he claims he knows nothing of the unrest, even though I sent the following via the CV website contact page and copied all Premier Clubs, VCCL and others:
Tony Dodemaide and the Cricket Victoria Board
Cricket House Jolimont
Re: CRICKET VICTORIA (CV)
As a former player, long time stakeholder in the game and contributor to Victorian Cricket I feel I have earned the right to ask you to provide me with an explanation as to why you have not resigned from office given the following:
Collectively you all have been engaged to represent the game of cricket in Victoria and yet you secretly initiated an agenda Report called "Breaking New Ground". This report was released under the pretence of it being in Victorian Cricket's best interests and yet was designed to effectively replace the voting rights of the owners of the game in this state, "the Premier Cricket Clubs", who established the Victorian Cricket Association now CV.
This was a conscious decision by you collectively (some of you may say you weren’t part of it… no excuse) and it was an attempt to remove and greatly disadvantage those who engaged you, it was not a mistake... it was a planned effort using "money” that did not belong to you. Again, it belonged to those who engaged you and in all circumstances this is unconscionable.
Further to this, it seems you have been secretly "giving and forgiving" loans, offering extra delegate votes to secure favour and have been caught lying to associates which again, is in all circumstance unconscionable.
This behaviour is not acceptable in business and certainly is not the type of behaviour expected from our cricket representatives and now with the majority of Premier clubs against you... you steadfastly refuse to do the honourable thing and resign.
Forget about how well you think you have done, because the fact is... So bad is Victorian Cricket under your reign that on most occasions only 5 of our home grown players are good enough to represent our cricket team, “the Victoria Bushrangers”. This has been the way for far too long and it is demoralizing for our Cricket in this State. Nothing has improved under your reign and when you consider this fact: Since the year 2000 Victorian Cricket has contributed only 3 Test Match (at the time of writing Glen Maxwell had not scored his century in India) Centuries to Australian Cricket... for the CV Board and its CEO it is your "Job performance indicator".
If you have any respect for Victorian Cricket you need to relinquish your positions in a manner that will allow easy transition for those who expect much more from the investment that has been and is put in all over our State each and every summer since the 1860's.
We are Victoria, the style of game here was a proven success, it should not have altered, and it was handed down to us.
It is our game as are the traditions and philosophies that go with it. Obviously you have all lost sight of this and given all the above your positions are untenable.
Please don't write my letter off as a former player not in touch with the modern game as I have been involved constantly in the sport, firstly as a player, as a Playing coach, administrator, Coach, specialist coach and mentor from First Class to grass roots community club level and all over the world.
My involvement in the game also extends from my business activities since 1985 and I am in regular contact with club cricketers throughout the state who constantly express their concerns to me… about the future of cricket in Victoria and what can be done about it?
I would also appreciate a response to my email.
So let us repair the pathway System and take control of Victoria Cricket... we can start by doing the following:
No 1. If the Cricket Victoria CEO and Chairman Russell Thomas wont resign sack them.
No 2. Fill the remaining Board positions with Victorian Cricket patriots who can stay alert, remove the voting rights of the Board, take 2 votes away from Womans Cricket they only need one, give 2 votes to Country Cricket.
No 3. Evaluate all departments within Cricket Victoria and remove the non productive or fruitless.
No 4. A priority will be to evaluate and over haul the Cricket operations, Bushrangers Coaching and Selection policies.
No 5. Re appoint Peter Binns and religate any Premier Clubs who have failed to produce an International player since 1980 back to Sub Districts ranks.
No 6. Allocate regions/Zones to Premier Club and provide funding for each club to developement their regions and retrench all regional development managers. Clubs must adhere to guidelines to qualify for development funding.
No 7. Premier Clubs & associates qualify for dividends on a year basis
No 8. VCCL Combined Country Team to play 3 day 1st Class fixture v Combined Metro Team choosen from Premier Cricket.
Our young talented Cricketers should be representing the State above everyone else and we should be feeding them into higher honours.
Every effort should be made to develop, encourage, invigorated or reinvigorate and reward them. It is the taxes or rates Victorians have paid for the infrustrucure and the District Clubs have invested 150 years into the game and facilities for young Victorians to benefit from.
If we lose matches… because our boys are not good enough on the field of play, then our development programs are failing and those involved should be replaced until we find success. That is when we'll know "Victorian Cricket is in a good place".
Any CEO, Chairman or Director of Cricket Victoria would know the corporate responsibility they had to those who set up the organisation that had engaged them. In this case they knew very well that it was the Districts Clubs (now Premier Clubs) and Associates had engaged them and as such they were to be treated as Shareholder of the game of cricket in Victoria.
Those who were employed to prepare the “Breaking New Ground Strategy” and those who endeavoured to push it’s outcome under the pretence of it being in the games best interest will have a hard time convincing me that they were not attempting a “Sting”.
At this stage most Premier Clubs and Associates are attempting to have this Board removed in order to reclaim the “game of cricket” for the state of Victoria.