Cricket is a game that is played under many trying conditions. From the heat and humidity of Asia and Australia to cold and rainy weather of New Zealand and England. Players have to endure the climate of all kinds be it heat, cold or extreme humidity which seeps every last bit of energy from the body. Therefore, a recent report from sports researchers and environmental academics has come as a warning bell for the cricket authorities.
Our beautiful game is also played in the heat of the desert in Dubai and UAE as well, where even in the night games, players keep sweating buckets and buckets during the IPL which was played there. Climate changes have forced matches to be delayed in various kinds of ways like dire water shortages in South Africa almost derailed the Indian tour to South Africa in 2018, while the rain has marred matches in England constantly, with Australia facing youth matches being abandoned due to extreme heat.
This is a wake-up call not just for cricket, but for all sport
“This is a wake-up call not just for cricket, but for all sport. Sportspeople are not by nature bystanders and we can and must react to avoid the crises approaching us. For every player suffering, there are many more fans having to work and go about their daily lives in these increasingly harsh conditions,” Russell Seymour, sustainability manager at Lord’s cricket ground was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
The review was done by British Association for Sustainable Sport and two universities and have called for extra care for the young cricketers and have also urged the kit manufacturers to develop equipment that enhances airflow, as extreme heat becomes more common. The “Hit for Six” report details how cricket-playing countries such as India and Australia are affected by extreme weather events likes droughts, heatwaves, and storms that experts say are being made more common by climate change.
The experts argue that the games need to be rearranged or even postponed for cooler times. “Above 35 degrees (Celsius) the body runs out of options to cool itself. For batsman and wicketkeepers even sweating has limited impact as the heavy protective cladding creates a highly humid microclimate next to their bodies Particular care must be given to young players and the grassroots of the sport where elite-level cooling facilities simply aren’t available,” Mike Tipton, professor of human and applied physiology at the University of Portsmouth and one of the authors of the report was quoted as saying.
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