HE'S been Waratahs' best player in the four years he has wielded the willow in the Orange District Cricket Association first grade competition but Ray Doolan believes the absence of a Waratahs side in this season's first grade comp doesn't coincide with him leaving the club.
“I certainly don't want the emphasis to become about me. The club is always bigger than the individual," Doolan said.
"It's a shame a few blokes haven't stood up and helped out. ‘Frecko’ (president Mark Frecklington), both Priests (Brad and Steve), all of the committee members work really hard. I really feel for them.
"There are guys that could step up but this is a soccer club with a cricket element to it. The soccer side train pretty hard so I don't blame them if they don't feel like playing in the hot summer.
"It's just a shame really."
Doolan, last season's ODCA Player of the Year, will be moving interstate come the end of the year.
It will be a big loss for not only the Waratahs club but the ODCA competition, too.
In 13 matches last season he scored 768 runs, including three centuries, at an average of 85.33,the best in the competition.
His highest score was an unbeaten innings of 206 against Centrals which was also the best in the competition.
Doolan was also more than handy with the ball.
He claimed 15 wickets at an average of 19 with a best of 3-7.
But all that will be lost this season with Waratahs failing to rally the player numbers to field a first grade side.
Doolan has also ruled out playing for another club in Orange this season.
"To be honest, I probably won't be around on too many weekends. I probably won't play much of the first half of the season," he said.
But, once settled in Adelaide, he hopes to have a bat for a club in South Australia.
"I've done a bit of research on a few of the clubs and I'll probably just do what I did here and rock up to the nets," he said.
Doolan said Orange was in the same predicament as a lot of places this summer.
"Cricket is dying and it's no different here in Orange," he said.
"People don't want to spend their afternoons out in the sun anymore which is a bit of a shame. I think it's character-building for a lot of people, not just the younger guys."
He could, however, see the light at the end of the tunnel for Waratahs.
"It depends on a few locals but it generally only takes one or two new guys to come to the club and then I think they'll bounce back," he said.