With rainfall of biblical proportions expected over the next two days, park cricketers across the state are preparing to play the safest rain card of the season tonight, with play expected to be cancelled in all leagues tomorrow. For the uninitiated, “playing the rain card” refers by cricketers over indulging in alcohol the night before a game in the hope that play will be washed out the following day.

While some cricketers are more adventurous than others when it comes to playing the rain card, almost all players across the state should feel comfortable tipping an excessive amount of alcohol down their throat tonight… even those playing on synthetic pitches. The Melbourne region is predicted to receive upwards of 160mm of rain today and tomorrow, which is quite a lot when you consider we normally only get about 60mm for the entire month of December.

One local cricketer, who requested strict anonymity, told The Watsonia Bugle, “Yeah mate, it’s a certainty. I even spent yesterday arvo at work making up these little laminated rain cards so the boys can throw them all around at the pub tonight. I’m backing this one right in. Then we’ll all just find a pub somewhere tomorrow to watch the first day of the Adelaide Test. Happy days mate.”

In direct contrast to that man’s confidence, the captain of the Watsonia Wombats Cricket Club, Tim Fanning, sent this message to his teammates via the team’s WhatsApp group this morning: “Boys, I know you were all joking about it last night but I want everyone to prepare for tomorrow’s game as usual. That means not getting on the beers all night tonight, and turning up at the ground at the usual time tomorrow. Expect to play boys. This is a big game for the club!” At the time of printing this article, Fanning’s message had been seen by all members of the group but no replies had been forthcoming.