By Nick Creely
Extreme heat across Victoria on Saturday forced the return of local cricket after the Christmas break to be abandoned.
With the temperatures soaring over 40 degrees in some parts of the state, local competitions such as the West Gippsland Cricket Association (WGCA), Dandenong District Cricket Association (DDCA), Warragul District Cricket Association (WDCA) and the Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association (MPCA) all implemented their heat policies.
According to section 2.1.1 of the WGCA’s Local Laws, “At 11am on match day, should the Melbourne forecast as released by the Bureau of Meteorology be 40 degrees or more, then all senior games for that day shall be abandoned.”
All games scheduled for Saturday were deemed a draw, with each team awarded six points each.
However, on Sunday, Kooweerup and Clyde played off in the Premier Division, while Devon Meadows and Cranbourne Meadows did battle in the District Division.
These matches were not impacted as a result of the heat policy on Saturday.
The DDCA took a slightly different tact, with the games postponed until either Sunday January 21 or Sunday 28 January, depending on ground availability.
The association decided to delay the decision until Saturday morning, in hope that the maximum temperature of 42 degrees might be late enough for matches to conclude, with the majority of turf games pushed back by two hours, while all synthetic competitions within the DDCA were called off in Friday in anticipation of the heat.
Instead of commencing play and waiting to see whether the temperature hits 40, the DDCA decided to reschedule rather than start matches that would not have reached a result if play had started.
Temperatures soared to as high as 44.5 at Hopetoun in the North West, while Melbourne reached almost 42 degrees, making it the hottest day since 13 January, 2016.