Country Week to go ahead

NORTH East Junior Country Week will go ahead this week, despite the extreme temperatures forecast.

Tournament director Neil Gregg confirmed yesterday five local cricket associations would push through the heat barrier to fight it out for bragging rights on the Border.

However, several preventative measures have been put in place to combat the heat.

“Whenever a temperature of 43 degrees or more is predicted at one of the centres, all games will be called off,” Gregg said.

“That’s one of three conditions we’ve got in place.

“It will be going ahead though.

“Rather than cancel it, we’ve looked to hopefully minimise the impact of the heat.”

The other measures include shortened innings and starting games an hour earlier — at 9am — on days when temperatures are predicted to hit 40 degrees.

However, those games may also be cancelled.

“That’ll be up to the umpires on the day, just like if it was raining,” Gregg said.

“Once the game starts, they’ve got control.

“43 (degrees) is the official cut-off but umpires can use their discretion.”

Cricket Albury-Wodonga, Wangaratta and District and Benalla and District associations will field teams in all five divisions of the tournament, with the Murray Cricket Council fielding teams in all but the under-13s. A team from Wagga will compete in the under-16s division.

Games will take place at grounds all over the North East this week, with matches starting today and concluding with finals on Friday.