Western Bay of Plenty Cricket administrator Don Warner turns into a logistics magician leading into the New Year – as he prepares to send 15 Western Bay of Plenty age-group teams to the annual Riverbend cricket tournament in Hawkes Bay staged in January each year.
The annual Riverbend junior cricket tournaments dates back to 1979 and today is coordinated and organised by the Hawkes Bay Cricket Association.
“The major reason for sending 15 teams to Riverbend is the continued development of our Year Four and Five to Year Nine players,” says Don.
“We have a rotation policy for all teams, where the youngsters receive the opportunity to bat and bowl at the top, middle and lower order, during their time at the Riverbend tournament.”
“I am personally delighted that we have two teams in the introductory Year Four and Five contests this year, after sending one team last season.
“Riverbend is the biggest junior cricket tournament in the North Island, with many of the youngsters, experiencing playing outside the confines of the Western Bay of Plenty for the first time”.
Wednesday January 12, 2017, will be a huge day for the Western Bay teams, with nine teams in various stages of competition on the day.
There will be a convoy of trailers loaded with wickets and bails, boundary and warm-up cones, scoreboards and other ancillary equipment – up and down the highways between the Western Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay, from January 5 2017 until the completion of the tournament on January 26 2017.
The Hawkes Bay tournament has been a very successful breeding ground for a number of first class and New Zealand cricketers - with Ross Taylor, Jamie How, Jeetan Patel, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Mike Mason, Ben Stokes (England), Scott Styris, Kane Williamson, Doug Bracewell, Trent Boult, Sara McGlashan and Sophie Devine playing in past years.