Lifelong stalwarts of the NSW cricket family Warwick Franks, Ross Martin, Mark Vergano and Bruce Wood have been recognised in this year’s Australia Day Honours for their contribution to cricket and the community.

Martin and Wood were recognised for service to cricket with a Medal in the General Division (OAM), Franks received an OAM for service to sport and to sports history, while Vergano has been acknowledged for service to sport as an administrator with an OAM.

Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon thanked the quartet for their service, saying all four men deserved every bit of recognition they received for their tireless and ongoing contributions to cricket.

“The Australia Day Honours List gives us a chance to recognise and thank some of the incredibly important volunteers and administrators right across our cricket family,” Germon said.

“I am extremely proud to see Warwick Franks, Ross Martin and Bruce Wood plus former Cricket ACT CEO Mark Vergano honoured for their service to cricket and their communities.

“Warwick, Ross and Bruce have done so much for our game and the communities they have worked and lived in. They have had a significant impact on many and I am sure I am not alone in thanking them for everything they have done.

“There is little doubt they have all inspired many, many people to play and love cricket through their efforts.”

From Kelso in the state’s Central West, Warrick Franks has devoted decades documenting the game of cricket in Australia.

He was heavily involved in Wisden Cricketers' Almanack Australian operations throughout the years, serving as executive editor of the print edition between 2001 and 2004, and as a researcher of obituaries on former Australian Test cricketers since 2012.

He has also made a series of statistical and historical contributions regarding cricket to Oxford University Press and the Sydney Cricket and Sportsground Trust, and has been called upon by the likes of the Sydney Cricket Ground Museum and Cricinfo to offer his expert knowledge on Australian cricket history.

Speaking with the Western Advocate about his Honour, Franks said: "I'm proud that my contributions have been a positive addition to Australian cricket: a sport that is very conscious of its history and traditions," he said.

"Cricket is a game that is as much about statistics as it is historical significance, with the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, first published in 1864, predating the first official Test cricket matches in 1877."

Franks has also been involved with cricket locally as a former President of the Bathurst District Cricket Association and player with a host of local clubs.

Bruce Wood, a resident of Thornleigh, is a leading cricket figure at Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai & Hills District Cricket Association where he first joined the Committee as a representative in 1999 and was made a Life Member in 2013.

During this time, Wood was an integral part of the organisation’s Umpire Association holding the positions of Assistant Secretary, Secretary and Vice-President, being awarded Life Membership in 2017.

In 2010, Wood was the inaugural President of the Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai & Hills District Cricket Coaches’ Association, a position he still holds today.

His selfless service doesn’t stop there, with Wood having previously served as President – amongst other positions and roles – at both Normanhurst Warrawee Cricket Club and Barker Cricket Club. Wood is also Umpires’ Coordinator for Combined Associated Schools, and an Umpire and Administrator for the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association.

The co-founder and founding President of Summer Hill Cricket Club, Ross Martin has given over 30 years of service to the club situated in Sydney’s Inner West.

Since 1991, Martin – Cricket Australia’s NSW Volunteer of Year in 2008 – has been a coach and umpire, committee member, and the Girls’ Age Coordinator since 1997.

He was also a Committee Member (2003-2008) of Canterbury & Western Suburbs Cricket Association and since 2016, has been the Girls’ Representative Team Organiser.

If that wasn’t enough, Martin was also co-founder of Sydney River Girls Cricket Association in 2007, where he was President from 2007 – 2014.

S
tarting his cricketing journey 50 years ago with Fairfield Liverpool – where his tireless efforts back in the 1980s saved the then named Fairfield Cricket Club – Mark Vergano's library of achievements as a sports administrator are both diverse and profound.

During 14 years as the chief executive officer of Cricket ACT – an affiliate of Cricket NSW – Vergano oversaw the development of the Meteors who play in the Women's National Cricket League, while played an integral role alongside former chairman Ian McNamee in the installation of lights at Manuka Oval.

Since then, he has headed up the Canberra Region Rugby League, which now boasts the fourth-highest participation levels in the state. His commitment to growing the female game in Canberra and surrounds also has led to the Raiders strongly pursuing a future NRL Women's team.

Volunteer stints on various boards including ACT Sport, Netball ACT and the ANU Cricket Club among others have underpinned his professional endeavours.

When speaking to the Canberra Times about this deserved OAM Medal, Vergano paid tribute to his wife and six children for their support: "My wife Michaela's just been enormous - without her I'd be cactus," Vergano said.

"Giving me the support to go out and do these things, backing in your judgement and just the teamwork, raising six kids together. It influences what you do and how you go about it.

"It keeps you grounded, but it also keeps you involved on the periphery to understand what's happening in those areas, they've all played sport in different guises and done different things."