Anger over Wanderers’ Doug Hogue presentation snub

Mathew WoodleyGeraldton Guardian
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Wanderers non-appearance at the Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League’s Doug Hogue Medal presentation night has upset some figures within the association.

The GBBCL’s most successful club did not provide a single representative to what is generally accepted as local cricket’s most important night of the year, something Geraldton Regional Cricket Board president Nic Rafanelli said was very disappointing.

Rafanelli was not sure why Wanderers had no one present on the night as they had offered no apology or explanation for their snub.

“Everyone else was in full attendance and they weren’t in any capacity for some reason,” he said.

“That was their choice and I think they were the ones who actually missed out on the night.”

The board has not met since last Monday’s event, but Rafanelli said the issue would be raised at the next meeting and they may ask for an official explanation from the club.

Wanderers President Shayne Bidwell said a range of circumstances were responsible for them not having anyone in attendance, however he denied the assertion they had boycotted the event.

“I suppose a lot of little things built up, but as far as I know there were at least three of us who weren’t even in town and they’re three of the regulars who normally go,” he said.

“Some of the reasons that people didn’t go are pretty personal and if that’s the way they feel then that’s how it is.

“It wasn’t a cricket club directive not to go or not support it, there was nothing like that at all.”

Bidwell would not be drawn on the reasons behind certain players not wanting to attend but said he could understand why people would be upset at the fact Wanderers weren’t present.

“I only know a few of the aspects… a few of the guys who didn’t go who normally go do, they know all about it, and I’m happy to follow their lead,” he said.

“The issues didn’t come from the cricket club… (but) we as friends and teammates chose to back up our team mates and our friends in that decision.”

However, regardless of the motivations for not attending, Geraldton cricketing icon and official Victor Tanti said it was still disappointing.

“It doesn’t take away from the fact that Wanderers were absent from the biggest cricket function of the year,” he said.

“My belief is that they’re unhappy at a number of decisions that have been made by the board in recent times.”

It is understood that some of those decisions include the choice of venue for the upcoming B-grade grand final — which features Wanderers — the performance of one of the league’s umpires and the decision to hand out an award to a certain player on the night.

Tanti was quick to point out that in the past Wanderers had been strong supporters of official events and Geraldton cricket in general, but said this most recent event had reflected poorly on the club.

“It didn’t look good in front of our main sponsor (and) it didn’t look good for the other clubs in general who certainly noticed Wanderers’ absence,” he said.

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