August 12, 2003

Otago Cricket gets development programme rolling

Otago Cricket have filled their three district development-coaching positions to cover the North Otago, Central Otago and Southland regions.

In North Otago, former Otago stalwart Derek Walker will fill the position. One of the regulars in the Otago team during the 1980s, he scored 1562 runs at 28.92 during 40 matches. He also took 19 first-class wickets and played 31 List A limited overs matches. He played league cricket in England for 20 years.

Walker has built a reputation with his coaching activities in the Otago area, and also in Britain. He held a position as sports development officer, and then sport and business development manager at University College, Worcester. He holds New Zealand Cricket's advanced coaching certificates in club and district cricket. He started in his position last week.

Central Otago's position will be filled by Englishman Andy Sainsbury. He has most recently been the regional cricket development officer and cricket development coach for the Bedfordshire Cricket Board. He has a sports science and business degree and has a background in property services and ski school management. He holds an England and Wales Cricket Board Level 3 coaching qualification.

Southland's community development co-ordinator Phil Robinson is also an Englishman. Phil Robinson played first-class cricket for Yorkshire and Leicestershire for 17 years and most recently has managed the Leicestershire second XI for four years. He has coached on three previous occasions and in South Africa. Robinson played in 159 first-class matches and 197 List A games. He scored 7617 first-class runs and finished with an average of 33.70, including seven centuries and 51 half-centuries. He scored 4292 runs in List A games at 25.85.

Otago Cricket's cricket development manager Craig Radford said he expects the Central Otago and Southland jobs to be underway next month. "I am excited by this enlarged development team and I am really optimistic that we can make huge advances in cricket development in our region with the expanded network in place," he said.