Play in doubt due to heat

A FORECAST of temperatures as high as 44 degrees Celsius on Saturday has caused massive debate within Dubbo cricket circles, with the hot topic (literally) being whether matches go ahead this weekend or not.

A number of different ideas were discussed on the Dubbo District Cricket Association’s (DDCA) Facebook page, ranging from starting earlier to miss the major heat, playing Twenty20 matches or even abandoning the round. DDCA board members will be in conversation with each other during the next couple of days before a decision is made, however the Daily Liberal yesterday contacted a number of players with their views differing.

Rugby captain Jordan Moran admitted he liked the idea of starting games at 9am but added whatever decision gets made has to be suitable for all clubs.

“If there’s a team that would miss players due to an early start, with work or whatever, then it probably can’t happen but I love the idea,” Moran said.

“I’m in two minds a bit about playing because I know I kept for 40 overs and batted about 20 and I was dehydrated at the end of the game and it was only about 36 or 37 degrees.

“If it gets to 44 degrees like they’re saying then it’s too hot but I think if we get to Saturday and the forecats changes and we’re only going to get 40 or 41 then we can go ahead. Whatever they do it’s one in, all in and every game is either on or off.”

After growing up and playing his early cricket in Bourke, CYMS skipper Ben Strachan is used to some extreme temperatures.

He would like to play but admits he understands why there is debate.

“If it’s 44 degrees and a still day with no breeze then we should move on but anything less should be alright,” he said.

“We used to bake on the claypans out at Bourke during summer but I will cop whatever decision they come up with.

“I don’t think it would be good to have young kids playing lower grades in that heat but I think first graders could cop it.”

Macquarie’s Jason Green agrees.

“It’s just about being sensible,” Green said.

“Maybe we take drinks breaks every 10 overs or something and captains make sure their bowlers don’t put in long spells.

“We don’t know how long this heat will be around. What if next Saturday gets back to 44 and the one after that? We can’t keep postponing games so I think we should play but we need to be very sensible about how we go about it.”

RSL-Colts wicketkeeper-batsman Jason Ryan said there are ways around the heat but admits he isn’t sure which way the board will go.

“If the square leg umpire carries a drink bottle out there then players can have regular drinks and the forecast can change,” he said.

“There’s been a few days where they have predicted temperatures and we haven’t reached them and Saturday might end up like that.

“The lower grades, with the kids and older blokes going around, might be a different story because we don’t want a repeat of the tragedy we had with Warwick Rapley earlier in the season.”

Newtown’s Steve Skinner said his side is keen to play but will abide by whatever decision the board comes up with.

“If there’s a hot wind blowing at 44 degrees it’s pretty tough. I’d think because there is a big difference between 44 and, say, 40 degrees,” Skinner said.

“My concern would be if there was a situation where a guy was standing in the field for 40 overs and then opened the batting and batted for a while as well.

“If you’re batting under a helmet the temperature goes up again and I know last week Wayne Dunlop was knackered after the game and it was about 37 or 38 degrees so at 44 it becomes worse again.

“Starting earlier is no good for us because we have guys who work Saturday mornings but it’s one in, all in. It can’t be a situation where two captains elect to go ahead and play and the rest say no. Either everyone plays or nobody plays.”

The Daily Liberal attempted to contact Souths skipper Matt Finlay, however were unable to reach him for comment.

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