Vandalism is just not cricket

Bedford-Morley Cricket Club president Travis Rawlins on the vandalised RA Cook Reserve cricket pitch. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d426966
Bedford-Morley Cricket Club president Travis Rawlins on the vandalised RA Cook Reserve cricket pitch. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d426966

Club curator Graham Sigglekow discovered the damage at R A Cook Reserve in Bedford last Monday when he went to start preparing the wicket for Saturday’s first match.

President Travis Rawlins said he believed the ground was damaged with about two jerry cans of diesel poured over the centre wicket area sometime between 2pm on Sunday and 3pm on Monday.

‘Our first two grades will not be able to play at home until at least Christmas which affects our bar revenue as we wouldn’t be able to host supporters at the games,’ he said.

‘It is also a significant cost to fix the damage to a point of being able to play on again.

‘On top of this it is the man- hours and labour to get it back up and running because most of the work will be done by volunteers, so it is hard to put a dollar value on this sort of thing.’

The Morley resident estimated the damage at between $2000 and $3000.

‘It is devastating to everyone involved in the club, especially those of us who put in so much time and money to the club,’ Mr Rawlins said.

City of Bayswater Mayor Sylvan Albert said the City condemned the damage done, especially since similar damage, which appeared to be a deliberate act of vandalism, occurred there in November.

‘The City, in conjunction with the cricket club, is trying to confine the damage done to the cricket wicket,’ he said.

‘Remediation works are currently underway, with officers of the City applying a liquid carbon in an attempt to absorb most of the liquid chemical.

As the club is responsible for the cost of repairing the damage, Mr Rawlins asked for people willing to donate to contact him on 0412 985 099. 

Bayswater officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Dave Whitnell said police were appealing to the community to assist in providing information that could identify the offender or offenders.

‘This type of behaviour amounts to criminal damage and can result in severe penalties and terms of incarceration,’ he said.

‘With the hot summer months approaching, this could also prove to be extremely dangerous and could easily result in an out-of-control wildfire which results in further damage to property, injury or loss of life.

‘Should people witness this type of activity and only if appropriate and safe to do so, try and obtain identifying particulars of those involved and call police immediately on 131 444 for assistance.’