Creative curator sets fire to pitch for drying allowing club game to proceed

Pitch curator Harry Trott implemented ultimate creativity when he set fire to St Kilda pitch in order to dry it out after a night of heavy rainfall.


Approximately 12 mm of rainfall on Friday night overflown the pitch before a scheduled match St Kilda Saints and Melbourne University on Saturday morning.

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Curator Trott used lighter fluid to start the fire that burned for an hour. Video footage shown flames of fire consumed the surface and drying out.

Similar incident took place during 1990 in St Lucia when curator made an effort to dry the pitch by setting fire to prepare the wicket for Engand versus West Indies match.

Jean-Luke Desmarais, general manager of the visiting Melbourne University Cricket Club, said the use of fire to dry a pitch was unusual in Australia.

“It was a bit of a novelty, I suppose,” Desmarais said.

“It’s not something that happens here very often, in fact, no one in our club has seen it done before, which is why I think the video was spread around so fast.”


Desmarais also said cricketers were excited to watch the burning pitch. “If they hadn’t done this, it may not have dried enough for even the 2.30pm start that we had for the day,” he said.

Melbourne University won the toss and elected to bat, saving their bowlers from running on a potentially damp wicket.

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