Two major junior cricket tournaments scheduled to be played across Albury-Wodonga next week have been cancelled due to the Upper Murray bushfire crisis.
The Bradman and Kookaburra cups, which the Border successfully hosted last year, was due to begin on Tuesday but parents of players due to compete were notified by Cricket NSW officials on Saturday of its cancellation.
"As all would understand, this decision has not been taken lightly," Cricket NSW said.
"The conditions in our state are unprecedented, including the destruction of property and nature, mass evacuations of towns and the loss of loved ones.
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"Cricket NSW takes pride in caring for our people, and this is one time where we could not guarantee the safety of players and their families throughout the state to Albury, the air quality once in Albury, the danger of impending fire threat while in Albury as well as not being able to guarantee a timely return to home ports from Albury following the tournaments."
Eight country regions - Riverina, Newcastle, ACT, Illawarra, Central Coast, Central Northern, North Coast and Western - were due to compete in the under-16 and under-14 tournaments.
Albury had an air quality index reading on Friday morning of 1010, more than five times the 200 reading the NSW Department of Health deems hazardous to human health, but Cricket Albury Wodonga chairman Michael Erdeljac vigorously defended the decision to play in the region's heavy smoke haze.