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DOMESTIC CRICKET
[ 1998-99 Chief Executive's Report ]

The introduction this year of two full international tours had some serious implications for domestic cricket and gave us an interesting dilemma of how best to manage the domestic game in going forward. All of us are well aware that a strong domestic product is vital to the growth and development of our sport. There is a need to ensure that domestic cricket retains an exclusive window unencumbered from competing international men's cricket, allowing public attention to be concentrated on the domestic competition, players and sponsors. In addition the Board has worked closely with the provincial bodies to fund considerably enhanced match fees in an attempt to persuade senior, experienced players to stay in the game and strengthen first class cricket.

A new domestic competition for women's cricket was introduced this season. Otago was welcomed back into the competition which was played as a league over two months instead of the usual tournament week. This allowed selectors to introduce new players throughout the season based on performance. We wish to thank State Insurance for their support of women's cricket.

State Insurance also secured the sponsorship of five of the domestic men's teams and introduced the novel Backyard Test with the CLEAR Black Caps which was a great concept well done.

Shell New Zealand Ltd continued to support the majority of domestic cricket products, Shell Conference, the Shell Cup, Shell Trophy, Shell Super Max League, and Shell Kiwi Cricket. Shell Super Max, a modified game, has established its own following and continues to gain enthusiastic support especially with younger audiences. SKY Television continued to offer valuable financial and moral support to Max for which we are particularly grateful.

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