An Auckland cricket club celebrating its 75th anniversary has lost $30,000 of gear after its shed was burned down in a suspected arson.
Kumeu Cricket Club chairman Steve Nobilo said he was told about 7am Sunday that there had been a fire at the Whenuapai Domain, where their clubrooms are located.
The ground's shed had been completely destroyed, turning most almost everything inside it to ashes. The rollers were also severely damaged.
Nobilo said all up they were looking at about $30,000 in damage.
They had insurance, but were not yet sure exactly how much would be covered given the age of some of the gear.
"It is a real tragedy for the club, all the members are pretty upset.
"We are a small, community club, and have worked over decades to acquire this equipment."
It was not the first time the club had been hit by fire, with the clubrooms burned down 23 years ago in an arson.
Nobilo said their CCTV footage indicated the fire started at about 3.30am, with Fire and Emergency NZ crews arriving about 40 minutes later with the fire well under way.
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The shed contained gear for looking after the pitch and field, which they would now need to try to borrow from other clubs until they had sorted their insurance claim.
CCTV had shown people in the vicinity of the shed and leaving just before the fire started, indicating it could have been an arson, Nobilo said.
A police spokesman said they were investigating the fire and treating it as suspicious.
The fire had put a dampener on what was the club's 75th year.
"It has been a bit of a dampener, but it could have been worse, someone could have been injured or it could have been the clubrooms.
"It is just a bad act of vandalism."
The shed was surrounded by trees, and Nobilo said it was lucky the fire crews got there before it spread any further.
"It is sheer good luck they got there when they did, and that the shed was clad in tin so it was mainly an internal fire, otherwise it could have been a pretty full-on bushfire.
"With climate change and increasing tinder dry conditions people lighting reckless fires don't only pose serious risks to property but people as well."
The blaze comes after a massive fire on Māngere Mountain last week.
Anybody with information about the Kumeu Cricket Club fire can contact Waitematā Police on 105 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.