If the community of the Great Southern Cricket Association (GSCA) were Buckingham Palace, then much like A.A. Milne wrote about Christopher Robin and Alice, there's a change of the guard. At this year's Annual General Meeting, Noarlunga's Oliver Rhodes was sworn in as the newest association president.
Rhodes succeeds Darryl Mason from Port Elliot, who served in the role for three seasons, which included navigating the association and its clubs through the challenges of a premature end to the 2019/20 season due to COVID-19 and a 2020/21 season like no other with restrictions on the playing and hosting of matches and a brief two-week hiatus.
Mason, who was unable to attend the meeting in person, congratulated all premiers and thanked the executive and various Coaches and Team Managers of representative sides.
He also noted his own views of the 'serious challenges in coming years particularly when it comes to junior participation and the transition/retention to senior cricket.'
serious challenges when it comes to junior participation and transition to senior cricketDarryl Mason
"I implore all clubs to work together to find solutions not just for today, but for many years to come and if you are a key decision maker at your club ask what is best for your club and cricket in general over the long term, not just the short term so that the game we all love continues to prosper in years to come," he said.
Following the meeting, Mason was pleased with the calibre of his replacement. Rhodes' cricketing CV is full of commitment to both his club and the former Southern Cricket Association (SCA), having served as a SCA president and was at the helm of the 'Shoes' as they successfully sought membership of the GSCA ahead of the 2014/15 season, joining from the SCA with Seaford Rise.
The association's executive is otherwise unchanged, with Todd Kelly (vice president) and newly minted Life Member Bob Martin (secretary/treasurer) retaining their roles, joined once again by Chris RIchardson (Aldinga), Mike Lowery, Luke Harding (Willunga) and Jeremy Parsons (Yankalilla).
Fellow Life Member, Trevor Connor will continue as Patron.
The most recent season saw just six of the 13 member clubs field an A Grade, which other than the six team each A1/A2 model in 2007/08, was the smallest A Grade competition since 1975/76. This looks likely to be the same again this season, with 12 teams in the B Grade.
Some news also from the 12th Man desk - the current writer is handing on the drinks, but fear not dear readers, you'll continue to know everything you need to from the weekend of cricket each Thursday here in the The Times. Yours in cricket!