Cricket: Kiwi grassroots players vent frustrations as new scoring system labelled shambles as season begins

  • 07/10/2022
The new scoring system has left club cricketers seething.
The new scoring system has left club cricketers seething. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

By Bonnie Jansen, Te Rito journalism cadet

Local cricket fans around the country are scathing about a new scoring system imposed by Cricket NZ which they describe as "woeful" and a "shambles".

The new system, 'PlayHQ', was dropped on clubs around the country just months before the season launched in Christchurch last week.

Early reviews of the scoring platform on social media by community cricketers have been scathing.

"Why roll something out that doesn't do what the previous platform could?" wrote one user.

"Diabolical at a Community Cricket level. The system is clearly not ready to handle cricket yet!" said another.

One user even tagged the Blackcaps on Twitter writing: "I hope you realise the extra strain and pressure you're putting on club volunteers and associations for no reason whatsoever." 

The system is supposed to tally club cricketers' stats and scores across community cricket.  

But users say they are "frustrated beyond reason" by glitches in the platform, imported from Australia to replace long-time Kiwi platform and app CricHQ.

Club volunteers and scorers are calling it a "very poor experience...that's clearly not ready", and that it's done "avid cricket followers no favors."

Another user said: "Can't see a live score. No run rates, no nothing. Shambles." 

The rift is so severe that some clubs are refusing to implement the PlayHQ system. 

Wellington club, Hutt Districts, says it won't be making the switch. It has invested in technology like electronic scoreboards and iPads to work with CricHQ that aren't compatible with PlayHQ.

College Sport Wellington, Hawke's Bay Cricket Association and other clubs across several regions have reportedly chosen to stay with or to switch back to CrickHQ. 

Club cricketers are not happy with the new system.
Club cricketers are not happy with the new system. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

CricHQ was designed to digitise cricket from end to end.  

After its development locally it was adopted by NZ Cricket in 2018 and has since grown internationally with more than over one million users in India, the United States, England and Wales. 

CricHQ chief executive Erin Walshe said after working closely with NZ Cricket for years, it was disappointing to be given only a few days' notice that they were being replaced by PlayHQ.

But he says the company has a good relationship with its rival.

Play HQ is used by Cricket Australia and Walshe says the two platforms work closely across the Tasman.

Walshe says CricHQ's main focus is the cricket community. 

"We are working with them to look at getting our streaming product into other codes in Australia," he said.

"The most important thing from our point of view is community cricket, who we've always supported and will continue to support." 

New Zealand Cricket, though, assert they are more than satisfied with the new platform.

"We're very happy with the rollout of the PlayHQ platform," it said. 

"It should be fully-operational by the first week of next month, as planned - with all the bells and whistles, including full, live scoreboards."

Auckland Cricket followed suit saying "We are excited about the coming season, and are committed to supporting our major stakeholders including clubs, schools and districts, transition over to PlayHQ. 

"This is a step-by-step process, and we are confident the new platform will have the core functionalities that are required by our cricketing community to enable them to have an enjoyable summer."

In response to the statements from New Zealand and Auckland Cricket, a club who doesn't want to be named is asking the questions "why?"

"Why would you change from a company that's had no issues and is proven internationally? Seems to be a dumb descion. If you've got something that works well, why change it?"

Cricket: Kiwi grassroots players vent frustrations as new scoring system labelled shambles as season begins