Australia’s raging environmental crisis left an impact on its cricketing landscape this weekend as senior bowler Peter Siddle had to be treated for smoke inhalation. It so happened that thick smoke engulfed the venue in Canberra during a game between Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers forcing the bowlers to go off the field and the 35-year-old Siddle was among them who had to be treated.
The organizers went ahead with the game despite the environmental threats. However, just 4.2 overs into the Thunder innings after they came out to chase 162, the smoke intervened and the match had to be abandoned with the two sides sharing a point each. Siddle, who was playing for the Strikers, bowled two overs to concede 12 runs. Thunder were 40 for 1 at the time.
Strikers captain Alex Carey later said the situation was “pretty unsafe” and there were a couple of times when the doctor had to come into the ground to assess Siddle’s condition. “We have a few asthmatics in the team as well, luckily they did not stay out there too long,” Carey, also the team’s keeper, was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
Peter Siddle is currently in Australia Test squad for NZ series
“Sids’ is back to Melbourne and joining the Australian squad,” Carey added. Siddle is in the Kangaroo squad for the ongoing Test series against New Zealand at home. Leading the three-game series 1-0, Australia will take on the Kiwis in the second Test starting in Melbourne in the Boxing Day match. Siddle didn’t play in the first Test in Perth that the hosts won by 296 runs.He has played 67 Tests since his debut in 2008 to take 221 wickets, last played an international game in the Ashes in September.
“There are bushfires around the country and as players, there is a bigger picture than just cricket,” Carey said, welcoming the idea of introducing air-quality meter.
The Australian Cricketers Association is working with Cricket Australia to develop guidelines for smoke-threatened matches and the International Cricket Council is also developing an “air quality policy”, reports added.
Australia is facing serious bushfires that have killed nine and destroyed massive property since September. Scott Morrison, the prime minister of Australia, faced a backlash for vacationing with the family in Hawaii during the time. Environmental concerns have also threatened international matches in India in the last few years.
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