Nelson Cricket general manager Dave Leonard has stepped down. Photo: File.

Nelson cricket crisis continues


Nelson Cricket has suffered another major blow with its general manager David Leonard resigning from the organisation just weeks after an external review highlighted major issues with the organisation’s governance.

In June, stakeholders were informed of a $74,000 financial loss in Nelson Cricket’s end-of-year accounts prompting an external review by Central Districts, the governing body of the sport in the region.

That review attributes poor financial administration, inadequate reporting and a lack of oversight. As a result, Nelson Cricket chairperson Rod Baxendine stepped down with board member Nettles Lamont taking over as chair.

The new indoor centre at Saxton Field was cited as a major reason for the financial failings.

The centre was funded by $200,000 from Nelson Cricket’s reserves, cost more than anticipated and income the centre was expected to generate didn’t materialise.

Other initiatives such as the Club Hub proved costly. The programme aimed to strengthen the game’s long-term health within the region but cost Nelson Cricket $150,000.

The management of a major T20 international between the Black Caps and England at Saxton Field in November was also handed to Central Districts after the conclusion of the review, despite Nelson Cricket winning the pitch for the game.

And now the resignation of the sport’s general manager will create more headaches for those running the sport in the region.

David, in a statement to Nelson Weekly, says he’s sad the way his involvement with Nelson Cricket has ended.

“I feel privileged to have had such a long involvement in Nelson Cricket and wish them all the best for the future. It is exciting times with challenges, but I am sure that Nelson Cricket will continue to grow and lead the game in our community. The upcoming international between the Blackcaps and England will be a massive event for the region and by far the biggest game of cricket ever played in the region.”

Previously David had played for Wanderers, Nelson and Central Districts before becoming a director of Nelson Cricket in 2009 and chair of the board in 2012 until standing down in 2015, to work first as a commercial manager and then general manager of Nelson Cricket.

David’s last day at Nelson Cricket will be October 7.