Tom Groth isn’t looking back in anger, as he looks to the future with Gwydir.
After years of distinguished service, Groth farewelled Tamworth representative cricket upon the conclusion of their War Veterans Cup campaign last season.
“Bingara born and bred”, the longstanding NSW Country keeper based that decision on what he said was a lack of commitment by players to represent Tamworth and his desire to play Connolly Cup for Gwydir while still in his “prime”.
Last December he lambasted players for turning their back on the chance to play rep cricket.
He runs a cattle farm, located between Bingara and Narrabri – taking over its running following the death of his father, Geoff, in 2008. He is the third generation of his family to farm in the area.
He will line up for Gwydir for the second time, following a season-opening loss to Gunnedah last month, when he play Tamworth at Bingara on Sunday.
“You know I’ve been pretty strong about that [the lack of commitment to play rep cricket] the last couple of years,” he said. “And it’s probably got the better of me in the end.
“I just found it a bit tough to drive 200 kilometres to play for Tamworth, when guys couldn’t even drive 5km to play. I’m not disgruntled at all. I just thought the time’s right [to move on].”
The silky smooth gloveman, who has made the Australian Country side three times, is “really looking forward” to Sunday’s match, saying: “As soon as I got the draw I sort of tracked that game down; I wanted to make sure I was available for it.”
Groth, part of NSW Country’s national championship-winning team last season, said Tamworth cricket had been “really good” to him and he was “grateful” for having the chance to play for and captain Tamworth. “Some of the best times of ever had in cricket have been playing for the Tamworth first XI.”
But he has good friends who play for Gwydir, and thought he could “help out” the team.
The two-time NSW Country cricketer of the year still plays for reigning premiers South Tamworth.