30 Nov, Tuesday

Auckland and Otago to honour Ross Dykes with Memorial Trophy

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Auckland and Otago to honour Ross Dykes with Memorial Trophy

Praneel HiraFeatured

The Auckland and Otago Cricket Associations have come together and will honour the late Ross Dykes every season going forward.

The first Ford Trophy fixture between the ACES and Volts will see the winner hold onto the Ross Dykes Memorial Trophy for the summer.

Dykes, one of the great servants of cricket in New Zealand, passed away in November 2020.

Chief Executive Iain Laxon said the Association is pleased to be able to honour one of the great servants of cricket in New Zealand with this Trophy.

“Ross made a massive contribution to the game, especially in the two associations he had the closest connection with – ourselves and Otago.

“We hope that contesting this trophy each season will be a way of remembering the person that he was and the lasting effect that he had on the game in New Zealand.”

A solid wicket-keeper batsman for Auckland, Dykes debuted against Canterbury in December 1967, playing 31 first-class games between 1967 and 1977, claiming 81 dismissals and making 723 runs at an average of 20.

When the Auckland University Cricket Club Life Member hung up his gloves, Dykes began his long service as a selector; first, a 12-year stint with Auckland, then a stretch on the New Zealand panel between 1990 and 2005 – broken only by a year off in 1993.

During Dykes’ time as a selector for Auckland and New Zealand, Dykes saw the rise of the John Bracewell, Jeff and Martin Crowe, Trevor Franklin, Dipak Patel, Martin Snedden, among many others.

While Dykes donned the whites of Auckland, it is a ten-year stint as the Otago Cricket Chief Executive that brings the two associations together.

In a decade-long tenure as Chief Executive of Otago Cricket from 2005, Dykes was instrumental in the continued development of the University of Otago Oval as New Zealand’s seventh International cricket venue.

It was a long journey from the days of cricket at Carisbrook, carrying on the work started by former CEO Graeme Elliott. The culmination of Dykes’ efforts saw the University of Otago Oval host ICC World Cup matches in 2015, played in front of capacity crowds on brilliantly clear Dunedin days.

Current Otago Cricket Chief Executive Mike Coggan also acknowledged Dykes’ efforts to professionalise Otago Cricket and give the Association a strong reputation throughout New Zealand.

Coggan recalls Dykes, reminiscing about his favourite moments.

“Two of Ross’ most memorable periods involved heading to India with ‘his’ Otago Volts and the planning and delivery of the 2015 ICC World Cup matches in Dunedin.”

“Ross was immensely proud to work for Otago Cricket and he loved our Otago teams. Even when he had moved back to Auckland, he would quietly say, to me each time he was in Dunedin, that he would love for Otago to win the fixture.

“He was very proud of what had been achieved in Dunedin and he loved Dunedin as a city”.

A cricket-man through and through, Dykes acted in his later years as an NZC Match Referee, overseeing First-Class games, List A matches, internationals.

The inaugural Ross Dykes Memorial Trophy is scheduled to be contested on 11 February 2022 in Dunedin.