WAYNE Richards Park was to be the host for night time Twenty20 cricket action, but legislation has caused a revamped tournament that will now be played during the day.
The Hastings River District Cricket Association (HRDCA) approached council to apply for sports field use for the night time cricket matches, which are class three matches.
Following investigations into the Cricket Australia Community Cricket Facility Guidelines, it was discovered that Wayne Richards Park does not meet the required specifications for floodlighting.
In order for class three games to take place, the lighting needs to be 300/200 Lux (lx, the square inch unit of luminance).
The centre square horizontal luminance needs to be 300lx and comply with all other parameters such as vertical luminance and glare.
Wayne Richards Park and all other facilities in the Port Macquarie-Hastings area do not comply with this.
Currently, at Wayne Richards Park, the maximum illumination available is 200lx.
HRDCA president, Craig Lobegeier, agreed with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s decision not to allow the matches to be played under lights.
“The guideline is not a recommendation; it’s a standard Cricket Australia are trying to set,” he said.
We’re hopeful we can get something sorted for next season, but it won’t be this season.Craig Lobegeier
“The difficulty is that council want to make sure we are covered, and our insurer has adopted the same standard, so we simply can’t play night matches until we get the lights up to 300lx.”
Council’s acting director, Dan Croft, said council allocated $310,000 for the establishment of sports lighting at Oxley Oval this financial year with further invested to bring the ground up to 300lx.
“The new LED lighting, the first of this technology in our LGA, provides additional hours of use for a range of sporting groups at the field,” he said.
“The new lighting is currently runs at 100lx however a further $68,000 was allocated to the project by council to allow for infrastructure to be installed.
The infrastructure will accommodate a capacity of 300lx light fixtures in the future, when additional funding becomes available.
“Lighting installed at Wayne Richards Park is currently at 200lx and also caters for a range of sports however capacity for illumination upgrades to 300lx needs further investigation,” Mr Croft said.
“Council will continue to work with the local Hastings River District Cricket Association on grant funding opportunities to increase the luminescence levels at these facilities to the required standards that would allow for night time cricket matches in the future.”
Lobegeier said he would like to see money spent to bring Oxley Oval up to 300lx rather than Wayne Richards Park.
“But that’s only my personal opinion,” he said.
“We’re hopeful we can get something sorted for next season, but it won’t be this season.”
Lobegeier confirmed the association are working proactively with council and hope to get something sorted to bring night cricket back to Port Macquarie by 2019.