Wyndham Vale Cricket Club members are devastated after vandals poured oil on one of its pitches, rendering it unusable for several months.
Liam Maloney was set to captain the club’s thirds on Saturday, January 19, when players arrived to find the pitch covered in oil.
Mr Maloney described the act of vandalism as “disgusting”.
“Oil was poured at both ends and the middle [of the pitch] in a vindictive attack,” he said.
“Wyndham Vale, a very community-minded club, has now lost that strip for the rest of the year.”
Mr Maloney said the oil had sunk into the soil below the grass, meaning it would be a long time before the turf could grow again.
“Sport helps bring a community together and WVCC is a very junior oriented-club and this leaves us with less options,” he said.
“This attacks at the core of the community by someone who most likely lives in that same community – we need help, not vandalism.
“The financial burden to a struggling club can put a club back years.”
Mr Maloney said the vandalism was “shattering” to ground staff “who pour their heart and soul into these pitches to get them up to a great standard week in and week out”.
Wyndham city life acting director David Semmens, criticised the vandalism.
“It’s disappointing when community facilities are damaged, especially when weekend sporting activities are directly affected,” he said.
“The turf table has multiple lanes, and though the damaged lane will be out of action for the remainder of this season, others can be used for the remaining home matches.
“Council will undertake remediation works at the end of the cricket season to ensure there are no long-term effects to the sports ground.”