New Cricket North boss Craig Davies was somewhat of a self-deprecating South Launceston trundler in the middle before turning his exploits to better effect inside the football boundary line at North Launceston.
The fact that Davies once hurriedly moved rather than walked away from the game soon after his 21st birthday does not hasten his interest for it some three decades on.
It was around that time murmurs that the unified state partnership between the boards of the NTCA, NWCU and TCA were going to dissolve in favour of one approach out of Hobart.
Pack up your bags was the call. The best cricketers from Launceston, Devonport and Burnie were forced to head south for good. A whole generation lost in the North.
It has taken until the last few summers for Cricket Tasmania to recognise that Northern Tasmania was neglected for far too long.
Barely without a hint of hesitation, Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin feels Davies is the right man to reconnect Cricket North with the rest of the state.
"It's probably been a bit of a shift that we wanted to get just really good people in," Gaggin says, "and they don't necessarily have to be on the board of our associations."
Davies will not have carte blanche of all things Cricket North. Paul Clark remains chairman of that board.
But the 52-year-old will bring a different analytical skill set to pick up the pieces.
The one-time accountant rose to general manager for Southern Cross television before embracing a switch to director of operations at University of Tasmania.
"I was first working out of Launceston representing an organisation that had a big northern focus, but had to try to manage a huge statewide contribution and the university is similar as it's decision-making is based in Hobart, but being able to bring a northern lens to what the issues are here," Davies says.
"I think they're really valuable skills to bring to Cricket Tasmania."
For that insular reason of pride, Davies does not want Cricket North to get lost among the bigger picture.
To keep its identity among the Greater Northern Cup in the top end of the state and the Greater Northern Raiders for the rest of it.
The former NTCA has compressed down to five first-grade sides following George Town's exit at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Davies hears the concerns and would welcome the Saints to return, but not for the sake of numbers.
"We're definitely after a competition that is balanced - that is the most important thing, I think," Davies says.
"A vibrant competition whether it's five teams, six teams or eight teams, it just depends on getting that mix right. We have got to sustain the competition with teams that are also sustainable.
"There is no point in just making a decision to have a sixth team just because you don't want to have a roster that doesn't have a bye if you don't have a view that they are sustainable long term."
George Town were forced to drop out after a series of heavy defeats including being bowled out for just 11 - a record state low score.
Cricket North sides have turned to their North-West rivals for the next challenge, numbers rising to 11 sides.
Davies encourages the partnership of the Greater Northern Cup to continue, but does not envisage a merger of the competitions.
"It certainly is important for Cricket North to keep its own identity," Davies says.
"The 50-over competition is one that has run for a bit. I see it as a good opportunity to meet and play each other just the once [a year]."
The talent pool has also been further drained from Cricket North and North West - for good reason.
The arrival of the Greater Northern Raiders last season picked out no less than 43 A-graders at an average of nearly four players a side.
It has flipped selection since to a more centralised training squad of 18 Raiders.
The culture of creating something from scratch that will finally set up a Northern pathway enthuses Davies.
"The concept has been really positive," Davies says.
"It is going to take time to get it right - they obviously have learned a lot from their first season. We know they put a lot of players through that team in their first year.
"The challenge is having a whole group of cricketers who have a real traditional affiliation to a club that has been in operation for a long time, have grown up around it with a really strong affinity and loyalty to them to play.
"So to be able to in year one ask players to shift to the Raiders as their club will take time to play through."
That excessive turnover of players that coach Andrew Gower was forced to find the right mix - amid club loyalty - led to four wins and 13 defeats including losing outright on two occasions.
Gaggin has watched the Raiders from afar and has urged backers to be patient.
"It is going to take a while to become a strong team with its own identity, but they are in a very strong club competition," Gaggin says.
"There are clubs in the Premier League like New Town that haven't won a premiership for about 50 years, Glenorchy's won two in the last 30 or 40 years while South Hobart-Sandy Bay with all their players have just two in 30 years.
"The point is it's a very strong competition and you can't expect them to be like the West Coast Eagles were and start playing in grand finals straight away."
That reality was a shock to the Raiders. The standard had drifted so far away from the NTCA of yesteryear.
It's a far cry from an up-and-coming quick having a chance to bowl to a David Boon or face the wickettaker prowess of a Roger Brown.
That sort of opportunity nowadays against a George Bailey or a Jackson Bird can earn Raiders a berth in a Tasmanian Futures League or Sheffield Shield side.
"But you don't want the Raiders full of 34-year-olds, or those who are very good club players that are never going to play [for Tasmania], as you don't want them to be just 16 and 17-year-old kids," Gaggin says. "We want to see a balance for stability."
There was once a time when nearly all the Shield side originated in the North.
Then there was the 1986-87 Kookaburra Cup final that had Mark Ray, Glenn Hughes and Stephen Milosz for Riverside and Richard Soule, Troy Cooley, Greg Campbell and Brown for Mowbray like a state trial.
"When cricket is strong in the North, Tasmania cricket is strong," Gaggin says.
"Five or six years ago it wasn't that strong and we were losing out on the Northern representatives, who were once the mainstay of the team for a long time.
"The Hussey Report said the Premier League is the right competition to have, but you also should have a Northern team. We have put a lot of time and resources into making the Raiders a strong representative team."
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