Clark named general manager of Sydney T20 team
Stuart Clark, the former Australia pace bowler, has been named the general manager of the Sydney Sixers, one of two New South Wales-based teams in the forthcoming Twenty20 Big Bash League. At the same time John Dyson has been unveiled as the GM of the Sydney Thunder, to be based at Sydney's Olympic Stadium while the Sixers set up camp at the SCG.
Dyson will step down from his present role as the New South Wales state talent manager and chairman of selectors in order to take the position, though Clark is yet to formally announce his retirement from first-class cricket. A week ago Clark had said he was "leaning towards playing cricket", but in the end decided the administrative role was too attractive to pass up. Clark has been preparing for life after cricket for quite some time, studying commerce to bolster his previous experience in real estate.
"I am thrilled to have this chance to be part of the Sydney Sixers and the Big Bash League," Clark said. "Twenty20 is about embracing new fans and I believe it has the potential to grow cricket in the same way that one-day cricket did. It is the way forward."
Dyson, the former West Indies coach, was similarly enthusiastic about the chance to take a key role in the establishment and growth of a new team, after Cricket Australia's decree that the T20 league required a marked shift away from traditional state-based identities. As finalists in the 2010-11 domestic competition, the New South Wales side will take a final bow as a T20 entity at the Champions League later this year, alongside the tournament winners South Australia.
"I am extremely honoured to have this opportunity," Dyson said. "There are a lot of challenges ahead for everyone to get this competition up and running. This is a very exciting time for Australian cricket and I am looking forward to a successful inaugural season for the Big Bash League and Sydney Thunder in 2011-12."
Concerns that the league's organisation is lagging behind will likely be addressed at a Cricket Australia board meeting in Melbourne on Thursday and Friday, after which negotiations should resume with the Australian Cricketers Association over the terms of the new memorandum of understanding for player payments.
CA and the ACA met in Melbourne on Tuesday for informal discussions about their differences, though a CA spokesman said the positions of the two bodies remained "180 degrees different from each other".