Clarence's Kyron Nipperess during the under-12 inter-district match that was smoked out between Clarence River Junior Cricet Association and Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association at Lower Fisher Park in 2019.
Clarence's Kyron Nipperess during the under-12 inter-district match that was smoked out between Clarence River Junior Cricet Association and Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association at Lower Fisher Park in 2019.

BEHIND THE DESK: Will bushfires hinder summer sport again?

THIS year has brought with it a whole raft of problems, but flash back to the end of 2019 and it was the devastating bushfires taking a chokehold hold on community sport.

While the constant cancellation of games due to the effects of smoke in the air, was frustrating for Clarence River and Lower Clarence cricket associations, most of those issues were in the inconsistencies over whether games went ahead or not.

For obvious reasons, no one should be subject to spending unnecessary days out on the cricket pitch in heavy smoke, but many were willing to take that risk.

Clarence's Max Forwell during the under-12 inter-district match between Clarence River Junior Cricet Association and Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association at Lower Fisher Park in 2019.
Clarence's Max Forwell during the under-12 inter-district match between Clarence River Junior Cricet Association and Coffs Harbour District Cricket Association at Lower Fisher Park in 2019.

For the younger age groups, the risks far outweigh the reward. We would love to see our kids out there doing what they love but their health should come first.

For the adults, the decision to leave it to a captains’ call on a number of occasions was admirable, but it puts the captains under pressure to get their side out on the field, especially when they’ve already missed previous games.

What I think needs to happen is Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW need to formulate a clear plan for next season that puts safety first.

As COVID-19 continues to rumble on, we could still be having to deal with the effects of that during summer, but the threat of bushfires simply won’t just go away.

The decision should not be up to captains who may not be fully aware of the health risks, but instead the associations and higher organisations need to be responsible and stand by their decisions.



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