Clubs agree on a merger

By Andrew Johnston

A NEW era begins — the Rochester Tigers and Rochester United cricket clubs will officially merge to form the Rochester Cricket Club.

Talks to formalise the deal are currently taking place between the two clubs, as well as Cricket Victoria to make sure the merge is completed correctly.

Rochester Tigers president Ray George said that both clubs entered the merger in a strong position.

‘‘We are both in a really good position financially,’’ he said.

‘‘We had a great season in the juniors at the Tigers, and United had a great season in senior cricket. Both clubs could easily be going on as individual entities.

‘‘But we think, both in committee and members, that the best thing for cricket in Rochester is for the two clubs to merge and further strengthen cricket in this town. It could have been sustainable, but it isn’t what was best for the town in the future.’’

The new Rochester Cricket Club will wear blue and yellow — both a reference to Rochester’s sporting past, as well as a major colour from both the merging clubs.

The name was chosen to represent all of Rochester, not just the merging entities.

‘‘It’s important to preserve the history of cricket in Rochester,’’ he said.

‘‘It hasn’t always been just our clubs, we have come from four clubs in the past and we want their tradition to remain and be strong.’’

The club intends to field an A grade side, with two sides in B grade — including a junior development side — as well as C, D and a full junior program.

The club also intends to field a female team under it’s new identity.

The clubs believe their respective strengths in different divisions will make the new club a dominant force.

‘‘United have a really good core group of 20 to 30 year old guys playing cricket at senior level, and with all Tigers juniors making finals last year we have that junior core group together. You add the players from both clubs and that will make those groups even stronger.’’

The clubs major focus in coming weeks will be to make sure the transition is smooth.

‘‘We have to make sure we get it right,’’ he said.

‘‘We need get the processes put in place to make sure that people are staying around.

‘‘We want this to be a special place where former players of all the clubs are able to come back and have a beer and be a part of things. We want this new entity to truly be our towns club.’’

The final details of the merger are expected to be finalised soon.