In what many people will see as a radical move, Kaipaki have decided to pull their premier cricketing team from top grade competition in order to enhance the clubs popularity and reputation. Kaipaki will become a 'Kindred Club' in 2016/17 similar to what rugby have. The NZ Harlequins and the NZ Barbarians are examples of a Kindred Club.
Kaipaki's renewed focus will be solely based around participation, enjoyment and creating a family friendly environment. Kaipaki will continue to enter teams in lower level competitions such as Hamilton Cricket's very popular Senior C 35 over competition. Kaipaki have been able to create a special culture over the last 5 years and believe the only way for this to be maintained and enhanced is by pulling the premier team out of top level club competition.
Kent Currie say's " John Parker and myself have had numerous conversations around the direction of the club and we have had many discussions with various members of Kaipaki Cricket. It basically came down to making a decision based on what we wanted the club to look like. We want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to play for Kaipaki, we want an environment where the WAGS can feel comfortable bringing their kids to cricket and we want people to meet and make lifelong friends at of Kaipaki Cricket. We feel that the more successful we got the direction and philosophy of the club got misguided and the enjoyment and culture of the club started to take a turn in the wrong direction - in some quarters. We looked at maybe entering a team into the premier division of Hamilton Cricket but there was going to be a process that we would have to go through, which we couldn't be bothered with, plus turning up to the same ground every Saturday doesn't enthuse too many cricketers either."
The players that made up the premier side will have the option of entering a team in a lower division, if that's what they would like to do. If they feel that they want to continue playing high level competitive club cricket they will be encouraged to do so - but for another club. Those players will always have the opportunity to play for Kaipaki when we play the 8-10 marquee games. Basically we don't mind if players play for other clubs but we want them to choose Kaipaki as their Kindred Club - and Kaipaki will embrace anyone who wants to wear the Baggy Green & Gold.
Kaipaki have 8-10 marquee games lined up - which basically takes the place of entering a team in the WVCA 1st Division. So far 3 teams from Auckland are interested in coming down, one of which is the St Kent's First XI. Other teams include Clifton CC from Hawkes Bay, NZ Croatia XI, ND Maori, University of Waikato Vice Chancellors XI, a couple of clubs from BOP want to travel over on their bye weekend and a touring team from Australia want to play Kaipaki also. It promises to be a pretty hefty schedule and Kaipaki will make every game an occasion by creating a special and unique atmosphere. We would like to play a local derby against Cambridge each season as there is no love lost between the two clubs! but we haven't approached them yet. A game against St Paul's would also strengthen our schedule. Games will be played either on Saturday, Sunday or even mid week - what ever suits really. I guess that's the advantage of not playing top competition - we can play cricket how we want, when we want and against who we want. That certainly appeals to Kaipaki.
Another long term vision for Kaipaki Cricket is to create a foundation where money is raised through fundraising events during the year. Money would sit in the foundation and local clubs would get the opportunity to apply for funding that will help pay for things such as balls, covers and general cricket equipment. This is probably some way down the track but gives you an insight of the direction that Kaipaki wants to take.
Kaipaki Cricket Enthusiast