The $38,000 Bull Paddock turf pitch has been ripped up by hoons doing circle work, in an act of targeted vandalism that has shocked Tumut District Cricket officials.
The pitch, which was laid just last season and has been used less than half a dozen times, was driven on sometime Thursday night or early Friday morning
A barricade around the square had been removed for the first time in months on Wednesday.
Tumut Shire Council’s Paul Nugent and the association were in the final stages of preparations to make the pitch playable for this season’s competition, which started Saturday.
With the grass having been dormant in winter, the pitch had been top-dressed and was expected to be ready for use this week.
Now, however, it could be months before there’s any action.
Tumut District Cricket Association president Luke Armstrong was wondering what goes through the mind of someone who would be motivated to carry out such damage.
“I realise young people aren’t always saints, but we live in a country town … there’s wide open spaces to go and do your burnouts if that’s what makes you tick,” Armstrong said.
“To purposely target the pitch – I just don’t understand it.”
While the grass will regrow, the burnouts will make the delicate task of preparing a cricket pitch more difficult.
There are concerns the uneven surface could produce ongoing issues in regards to uneven bounce, potentially proving dangerous for batsmen.
A great many hours had been spent preparing the turf, which last year replaced the aged and dilapidated wicket that had been used for over a decade.
The new pitch, by all accounts, had provided added bounce and pace.
“Everyone was looking forward to seeing how it played this year, but they’ll have to wait a big longer now,” Armstrong said.