One of Nelson’s most successful cricket clubs is in crisis.
For the first time since its inception in 1983, Wanderers will not field a senior side in the Nelson premier competition this season.
Wanderers stalwart Hayden Ingham says it is a sad day for the club.
“It’s absolutely gutting. Personally, I’ve put 14 years into what is a very proud club for thirty odd years and has had a lot of successes, so it’s a very disappointing.”
Hayden says they were about four players short of fielding a full squad.
“We have been short for the last few years but unfortunately, in the off season we lost six of our starting lineup, so that killed us.”
Hayden says Matt Campbell and ex Wanderers great Andy Leonard put in a lot of work to try and save the side.
“We just couldn’t get over the line but hopefully it’s just a one-year thing.”
Hayden hopes the senior side can be revived in the coming years.
“We have got a lot of juniors so hopefully we can get it back up and running.”
He says the remaining players will have to ply their trade elsewhere this season.
“We still have a second-grade team, so most of the guys who are left will play second grade while a couple will head off to other clubs.”
Nelson Cricket general manager Dave Leonard says it is a disappointing situation for all concerned. A former club member himself, Dave played in some of the strongest sides the Brightwater club produced.
“It’s not what we would wish but it has become a reality.”
He says there was a sense of inevitability about Wanderers withdrawal.
“The club has struggled for numbers for a season or so but have managed to get by, but there are number of things that have created a perfect storm.”
He says player movement has been a big factor and there are also some issues off the field in relation to the operations of the club which need to be dealt with.
He says Nelson Cricket will support Wanderers back into a situation where they can be a force again.
“We are hopeful, but it comes down to the club. I have no doubt that they can come back to participate and succeed again in premier.”