AFL Victoria approaches Cricket Victoria to play into October

By Campaspe News

AFL Victoria has taken its first steps to extend seasons into late October, but it will need support from its biggest rival.

The state's governing body has formally asked Cricket Victoria about playing until the weekend of October 24 and 25.

The request, however, relies heavily on advice from the Victorian Government regarding the resumption of community sport.

In its request, AFL Victoria said all finals would take place in October, while grounds would start to become available throughout September.

“Local football leagues are encouraged to work closely with local cricket associations as early as possible to identify grounds to be utilised during October to ensure preparations on other grounds — particularly for turf wickets — can occur as early as possible,’’ AFL Victoria's offer to Cricket Victoria said.

AFL Victoria said it was continuing to find ways around “the unprecedented circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on community football’’.

“This is a one-off season modification for 2020 and there is no intent for football to push into October in future years. After 2020, we revert to the original agreement arrangements (football running from April 1 to September 20 and cricket from October 1 to March 31).’’

But AFL Victoria said it was prepared to return the favour in 2021 if cricket needed to play into April to complete its season.

Goulburn Murray Cricket president Jason Turner said a lot still needed to happen before his competition made a call on when its season would start.

“We've had some discussions around what our season might look like,” he said.

“We've developed three strategies that we will take to the clubs for them to vote on before deciding what happens.

“We're in a fortunate position where we have four senior cricket grounds that don't have any footy played on them.

“We'll continue to be in contact with our local footy competitions to see what they are doing and to ensure we can work together.

“I hope that if we do them a favour, they can do one for us later down the track.”

Under usual circumstances, cricket clubs would gain control of grounds on October 1.

Local football competitions are expected to meet from May 11 to discuss next steps, which will depend on announcements from the Victorian Government.

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