EP Cricket on the front foot for next season

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Eastern Province Cricket is well placed to grow both the game and the company in the years ahead, according to president Donovan May.

In his president’s report to the board and members May says “our financial position has improved dramatically since 2014. We posted good results again the last financial year (2017/2018), and are a going concern, with a good unqualified audit report.

“This paints a good picture for Eastern Province Cricket going forward”., he says.

On the field, “our shared franchise, the Warriors, had a great season on and off the field.

“The team ended up third in the 4-day competition, making the final in the T20 and coming third in the 50-over competition.

“Our senior provincial team gain enjoyed a very good season this year by sharing the 3-day format in the finals with Northerns. The Africa T20 competition is a tournament to develop cricketers for the shorter format of the game and we have done well as they won three out of their four pool games.

“The head coach Piet Botha has been called up to assist with the SA ‘A’ team to India this year.

“Glenton Stuurman was the CSA 3-day player of the year at the CSA awards day.

“It must also be noted that our transformation targets are being met,” he says.

Some 17 players will be contracted from club cricket to the provincial squad for the next season. This gives them an opportunity to enhance their skills to get into the professional teams.

EPC is also investing in the development of local cricket by allocating funds in addition to the money received from Cricket South Africa.

Clubs are also supported financially by not having to pay affiliation fees to EPC.

“What many do not realise is that most of the revenue received from Cricket South Africa is ring-fenced for amateur programmes. This includes the salaries of those involved in the programmes”.

In addition to providing balls, equipment and transport assistance, EPC assists with making sure that the grounds are playable.

“Out of 1 133 games fixtures for the year, 1 082 club games were completed and 51 were interrupted by rain.

“This shows the commitment from EPC to ensure that the grass was cut and the pitches were prepared at all available at metro grounds. We had to use our own budget to ensure that the municipal service provider was paid to do the work.

“We will be entering into an agreement with the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro to assist with their ongoing challenges of preparing their facilities.

“I am also pleased to announce that we have risen four places on the CSA (Cricket South Africa) scorecard this past season, with most of the affiliates showing improvement over last year.

“We ended up seventh out of the 14 CSA affiliates this year, compared to 11th place last year. Our aim is to be in the top three, but this can only be done if all affiliates pull their weight,” he says.

Ongoing investment in the St George’s Park stadium has brought major cricket matches to the metro.

“We were privileged to stage the country`s first Mzanzi T20 cricket tournament at St Georges Park and to be able to manage the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants here in Port Elizabeth.

“We also successfully hosted one day internationals and a 5-day test match this past season between Pakistan and Sri Lanka,” he says.

The Eastern Province Cricket (EPC) board is busy working on a commercialisation project which will help provide additional revenue streams.

“The stadium is our commercial arm of the business. We need to develop future revenue streams to ensure the company is sustainable, and that we have more funds for the development of the game of cricket in the Eastern Cape,” says May.

A number of major fixtures are already lined up for 2020.

In mid-January St George’s Park will host the third five-day test between South Africa and England.

It will also host the first-ever T-20 against Australia in February.

In November it will once again be the venue for the Mzansi T-20 league

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