Cowra cricket stalwart Doug Wright is this year’s recipient of the Bob Barr Memorial Award for services to sport.
Doug’s 30 year association with the game in Cowra includes time as a player, umpire, secretary, president and representative selector.
After growing up in Cowra, Doug spent about 12 years between Richmond, Armidale, Finley, Narrandera and Young before returning to town in 1981.
Working alongside Bill West and Carl Berry, Doug was initially Cowra Cricket Association secretary for six years before beginning an 18 year tenure as president.
During that time he was also Lachlan Council president for 12 years, a delegate to Western Zone and NSW Country Cricket and a selector for NSW Country and the under 19s state side.
He began umpiring at 25 in Narrandera, and quickly became recognised.
Doug umpired at multiple NSW Country Championships, an Australian Country Championships and has toured England and New Zealand with central west sides.
He says seeing people achieve is the greatest “kick”.
In Cowra he’s witnessed Nick Berry and Damien Wallace reach their potential and play grade cricket in Sydney, and most recently watch Daniel Hughes score hundreds for NSW and be selected for Australia A.
He also drew attention to Matt Crawley mentoring Western Zone to success in recent years.
“The highlight is seeing blokes do well,” Doug said.
“Seeing Matt Crawley’s contribution to Western Zone and getting country coach of the year and watching Daniel score hundreds for NSW are two highlights.”
During his time as an under 19s state selector in the 90s Doug watched Adam Gilchrist, Michael Clarke and Brett Lee come through the ranks. As president of Cowra Cricket Doug continued the town’s strong relationship with NSW Cricket, and consistently attracted junior carnivals and representative fixtures.
“NSW Cricket like coming to Cowra because of the facilities and the way we handle it. Cowra’s a terrific place to play the junior carnivals. It’s got terrific grounds for carnivals,” he said.
Along with Berry, Wallace and Hughes, Doug identified Trevor Mitchell, Warren Mulligan, Graham Newcombe, Peter Fairall, Chris Baratto, Scott Gilmore, Scott Gray and Dave Henderson as some of Cowra’s most valuable cricketers.
He noted Cowra’s 23 game run with the Grinsted Cup as another highlight during his time associated with Cowra cricket. For his services to cricket, Doug’s been awarded Principal Membership of the Umpires Association, an Australian Sports Medal and life membership of Lachlan Council and Western Zone Cricket.