The 144th Annual General Meeting in Brisbane this evening conferred Life Membership on Queensland Country cricket identity Kev Maher, acknowledging an on-going contribution to the game that stretches back more than 50 years.
One of the State’s modern-day playing greats, the former Queensland and Australian captain and wicket-keeper Jodie Purves (formerly Fields), was formally inducted into the Women’s Cricket Hall of Fame.
Purves, the first Queensland woman to captain Australia when she took over in 2009, joins former teammates Julia Price and Melissa Bulow in the Hall of Fame, an initiative designed to acknowledge major contributions by women to cricket in Queensland.
The Toowoomba product played four Tests, 180 List A matches (with 67 ODIs) and 102 T20 games (featuring 37 T20Is). Included in her career were 99 one-day and 58 T20 matches for her State.
She courageously fought back from career-threatening hamstring injuries to lead Australia to twin World Cup wins. She took Australia to a second successive ICC Women’s World Twenty20 title in 2012 in Sri Lanka and then led her team to the ICC Women’s World Cup triumph in India less than six months later in February 2013.
Maher, the uncle of former Queensland Bulls captain Jimmy and current president of Queensland Country Cricket, has been actively involved in the game as a player, coach, selector, team manager, volunteer and administrator for more than half a century.
A lengthy playing career, spread between Far North Queensland and Brisbane from 1967-68 to 1988-89, saw him represent Queensland Country and play first grade in Brisbane for QCA Colts, Wynnum-Manly and Norths.
Queensland Cricket Chairman Chris Simpson congratulated Maher for the breadth and depth of his contribution to the game.
“As president of Queensland Country Cricket, he is innovative and tireless in his efforts to elevate cricket at all levels, whether at entry level or for senior representative competitions,’’ he told delegates.
“At a more local level, his advocacy for Cairns, and willingness to attract and collaborate with stakeholders at all levels, has resulted in Test matches, State cricket, WBBL and other high-level cricket being contested in Far North Queensland. “
“Likewise, the delivery of valuable and much-needed infrastructure in regional Queensland will be an on-going legacy of his ability to work closely with other levels of the game and government to ensure great outcomes for cricket.”
“In recent times, his shrewd counsel has been of great assistance to the Board in his role with the QC Nominations Committee, the Finance sub-committee and most recently with his appointment to the State Cricket Committee.”
“The Maher family has given enormously to the game, and as one who enjoyed the company of his nephews, Jimmy in particular, it gives me great pleasure on behalf of the Board and wider QC community, to confer Life membership on Kev as fitting recognition of his passion and dedication,’’ Simpson said.
The AGM heard that the induction of Jodie Purves into the Hall of Fame recognised her courage and determination.
Simpson paid tribute to her on-going backing of women’s cricket as a coach and supporter of young players.
“As well as celebrating her outstanding playing career, It is worth highlighting Jodie’s personal backing of the next generation of players through her funding and presentation of an annual scholarship for girls aged between 12-18 years of age in Queensland to further their cricket careers,’’ he said.
“That generosity is reflected in past scholarship holders now appearing in Queensland Fire and WBBL Brisbane Heat squads as well as Premier Cricket and State Youth teams,’’ Simpson said.
Dual WBBL Championship captain Kirby Short, who retired as captain of the Brisbane Heat and Queensland Fire at the end of the season, was also formally acknowledged by Simpson during the AGM.
“As a player and as a leader, she was dedicated and selfless in putting the team before her own interests and we congratulate her on a job well done,’’ he said. “I am sure she will continue to be a strong and positive force for cricket in Queensland as she moves into the next phase of her life.’’
Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson told the AGM that Queensland Cricket had recorded a net profit for 2019-20 of $800,000.
He noted that revenue had been ahead of 2018-19 by $1 million through increased sponsorship, larger BBL crowds, and higher CA distributions.
“This result will help support QC’s financial position and sustainability during the incredibly uncertain financial times which we face over the coming season,’’ he said.
The meeting was told that prior to COVID-19, QC management had focused on efficiencies, lower operating expenses and diversifying revenue streams.
“This process was accelerated with the on-set of COVID, the ongoing funding distribution uncertainty from CA and other potential impacts on QC revenue,’’ Svenson said.
“As we know, significant changes were implemented within QC to protect the financial stability of the organisation, including cost control measures and redundancies in May.’’
“However, actual expenses were close to the previous year despite redundancy costs, and we were able to maintain affiliate funding as a result of the higher revenue generated in 2019-20,’’ he said.
Svenson also highlighted recent pleasing Queensland participation numbers that saw a total of 119,000 registered participants in 2019-20, an increase of 7.5% on comparable figures from last season.
“The army of volunteers who do such a great job in growing and supporting cricket throughout Queensland work incredibly hard to attract and retain players and we congratulate them on a job well done.”
“Whilst cricket continues to be faced with challenges through this period, our resolve to unite and inspire Queensland communities through our game has not wavered,’’ he said.
Tonight’s meeting saw Simpson and fellow Director John Salter re-elected unopposed for a further three years.
Simpson was also confirmed as Chairman.
The 2019-20 Queensland Cricket Annual Report is available here