AUSTRALIAN spinner Xavier Doherty yesterday returned to his old hunting ground, the George Town Cricket Club, in an effort to attract new players to the club.
Despite a strong history of success and three former George Town players currently holding Tasmanian Tigers contracts, the Tamar Saints are in need of both players and volunteers.
Doherty said he loved returning to the club where his career started and hoped new Saints would come marching into the club sooner rather than later.
‘‘This is where it all started for me, it’s a good place to come back to and I really did enjoy playing my cricket up here,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s probably no secret that the Southern competition is the strongest at the moment, but we really do need North and North-West cricket to be strong and keep producing some good cricketers.’’
Tamar Saints president Bob Pooley said that although local talent was prevalent, it was difficult to keep players at the club.
‘‘The challenge we have now is that a lot of young people are leaving the town for obvious reasons like work commitments.
‘‘It’s getting harder and harder for us to sustain a competitive cricket club at the A-grade level.’’
Pooley issued a challenge to every young cricketer in the area to follow the footsteps of Doherty, who has played 54 ODIs and four Tests for Australia.
‘‘We want to show that people can come from regional towns like George Town and go right to the top, and there’s opportunities in little communities like this.
‘‘Xavier’s a George Town boy, and he went on to bigger and better things, and perhaps one day if you want to stick with cricket, we’ve got a pathway here from junior level, if that’s your dream.’’