The Fremantle District Cricket Club has issued a plea to dog owners to keep their pets off the wickets at Stevens Reserve.
As well as being home to one of WA’s oldest cricket clubs, Stevens Reserve is also a popular dog exercise area.
Cricket Club President Dave Davenport said they were happy to share the reserve with dogs but needed their owners to keep them off the wickets.
“Our wickets rival the WACA ground as some of the best in WA and our curator puts hours of work into making sure they’re in perfect condition,” Mr Davenport said.
“A lot of people might not realise that to prepare a cricket pitch the clay is actually quite soft, so if a dog runs over the pitch it doesn’t take much to dig it up.
“There was an unfortunate incident at the start of the season where dogs had been running across the covers we put over the wickets to protect them from the rain.
“The dogs’ claws ripped small holes in the covers which let the water through onto the pitch and meant we had to call the game off until we could dry it out.
“We’ve also had situations during breaks on match days where we’ve had to keep someone out on the field to protect the wicket and stop dogs running onto it.
“We recognise people love their dogs and that Stevens Reserve is a great place for them to have a run around, but we’re just asking people to help us out by keeping their dogs off the wickets.”
As a designated dog exercise area dogs are allowed off leash at Stevens Reserve most of the time, however dogs are required to be on a leash whenever there is a game or training taking place.
Dogs are also prohibited from the two centre wickets and the practice nets at all times.