Summer is approaching and one of its attractions for many kiwis, apart from balmy, sunny days, is the arrival of the cricket season.
So it was good news this week to learn that here in Wairarapa the sport seems to be in good shape both from an administrative point of view and also from a player’s perspective.
The books of the Wairarapa Cricket Association show it is back in the black for the first time in five years, player numbers are climbing, there are plenty of volunteers including coaches putting their shoulders to the wheel and grant funding has been strong.
All the above has made the association, particularly its chairman Sam Rossiter-Stead, very happy with the ways things are panning out and confident the sport will flourish this season building on a much improved year last year.
Mr Rossiter-Stead has also revealed the intention is to field a senior women’s team for the first time in over 10 years and that last season 230 females played cricket here, up by 100 on the previous year.
There seems little doubt the image of cricket in this country has been helped enormously by the advent of one-day international matches and limited overs cricket, and the subsequent coverage of these on live television.
Although purists will always say the only real cricket is the four-day tests that is no longer an easy argument to maintain.
Sure, tests are great but you need time, and lots of it to devote to them whereas the excitement of a decent one-day clash starts after breakfast and is over by supper.
They have become a great way for entire families to hole up and relax and along the way many people who previously showed no interest in the game, or simply never took the time to understand it, have joined the ranks of the committed.
The spin-off from that has been more and more youngsters, and indeed more and more girls and young women, are trying out with the bat and ball.
That’s exactly what associations like the one here in Wairarapa need and welcome.