Cricket in turmoil over $2000 theft

By TONY WHITE

twhite@dailyexaminer.com.au

THE theft of around $2000 in cash from Clarence River Cricket Association funds raised from the senior presentation night has upset officials and left a shortfall in the budget for the season.

The money was stolen from the office of CRCA treasurer Andrew Firth at his Grafton Indoor Cricket and Sports Centre in Grafton, some time in April.

The Daily Examiner understands the matter was reported to local police but as yet the money has not been recovered.

Firth confirmed the funds were stored on his premises but due to the delicate nature of the incident and ongoing investigations, preferred not to make any other comment on the theft.

CRCA president Bruce Baxter said the theft was 'very disappointing'.

"Some bastard got at us again. We just can't afford to lose that sort of money," he said.

"It was hard-earned money that was going to be used for things that are needed."

The matter was discussed at the CRCA's last board meeting in late May.

Baxter said the funds were a result of money raised from the annual senior presentation night held in early April and from the Over-40s competition, with an amount designated to be donated to a cancer charity.

The cancer donation will still take place, Baxter confirmed.

"We've lost approximately $2000 in trading for the year. It was money we had budgeted for," Baxter said. "It could mean we run at a loss or finish close to break even for the season."

Firth said yesterday he believed that, despite the loss of funds, the association would still make a 'healthy profit'.

Baxter and vice chairman Bill Wynn, both dedicated, long-serving officials, have given notice they will not seek re-election for the coming cricket season, leaving a gaping hole in experience.

Firth, a three-time CRCA Cricketer of the Year, also handed in his resignation at the May meeting.

"It's mainly due to other commitments," Firth said. "I initially said I'd take on the position for one season ended up doing it for two but I just don't have the same time to invest with my business and other commitments."

Baxter added he was confident the three key positions would be filled for the new season.



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