News Day

Just not cricket

MELANTA MOTILAL AND JAKE SANTA MARIA

The entire board, aside from the chairman, of a major suburban cricket league has stepped down after a vote of no confidence in the board by the presidents of several of the league’s most powerful clubs.

Chairman of the West Australian Suburban Turf Cricket Association, Michael Viney, is clinging to power while the league’s clubs wait for another board to be chosen.

The association is one of the longest running community cricket associations in Perth.

Beginning in 1896 it now consists of 22 clubs and supports more than 2000 cricket players in the metropolitan area.

The association’s constitution says five clubs are required to put a no confidence motion forward for action to be taken.

Bedford Morley, Bentley, High Wycombe, Kalamunda and Murdoch University Melville cricket clubs put the no-confidence motion forward.

President of Murdoch University Melville Cricket Club Nick Gohrt said that in February there had been an initial vote put forward by members of the board against Mr Viney.

“They didn’t go about it properly,” Mr Gohrt said.

“They didn’t make sure that all the board members were there that were in support of it.

“It didn’t get up and the reason for this is because they didn’t outline who was going to replace the chairman.”

Nick Gohrt at Murdoch Melville training grounds behind Murdoch University – Photo: Jake Santa Maria

Following this, a general meeting of the club presidents was called on May 11 to decide the future of the association.

Mr Gohrt said that at that meeting 19 out of the 22 clubs that attended voted in to do what was needed to remove Mr Viney from office.

He said this eventually resulted in the vote of no confidence being brought against the board.

“In a nutshell, this came about because the clubs wanted a change in leadership from the board as they felt that the board no longer had the best interest of the clubs and cricket in mind,” he said.

Mr Gohrt said he contacted Mr Viney to tell him that most club presidents would like him to resign.

Acting Executive Officer of the association Jeremy Watson said the stepping down of board members would affect the association’s clubs.

“Clubs would need to find nine nominations to fill in the board positions before cricket season begins in October,” he said.

Brad Pearce, one of the nine board members who recently resigned, had at a board meeting on February 15 originally moved that Mr Viney be removed from his position. But the motion was defeated four votes to two.

Mr Pearce said while Mr Viney had done a lot of good in his 10-year reign, he could not stand by him in the past year.

He said he does not know why the chairman has not stepped down yet given he has been asked multiple times from both board members and club presidents.

“It’s unfortunate it has come to this,” he said.

“It is the first time since the beginning of the association that a board has been voted out.”

Despite this, Mr Pearce said the upcoming cricket season would not be affected.

“If the correct board is in position, I have full confidence that the association will recover from this,” he said.

“I’d be happy to step in as chairman in the interim with the backing from presidents.”

Western Independent called Mr Viney today but he declined to comment.

A special general meeting will be held on June 7 to elect nine new board members.

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