Ever since the World Cup in England, the number of washouts across all formats has been staggering. Former Australia captain Ian Chappell believes that the perils of climate change goes beyond excessive rainfall and abandoned matches.
The 76-year-old, in a piece for ESPNcricinfo, claimed that although the recently concluded Ashes series breathed life into the longer format of the game, it faces serious challenges up ahead. The effects of climate change, he said, should be the first and foremost concern which should be paid attention to by administrators governing the game.
Proving his point that the concern goes beyond downpours delaying matches, he wrote, “…drastic increases in temperature will add to the health dangers for players. If temperatures keep rising, players will need to be protected from heatstroke or more lasting skin-cancer damage.”
He asserted that in order for Test cricket to survive, day-night matches should be considered as its future.
“The destruction of Test match venues is a very real prospect; the picturesque ground in Galle – already partly destroyed and then restored after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami – is a prime case,” Chappell wrote, talking about the growing concern of rising sea levels, which might lead to imminent tsunamis.
Stating the damaging effects of reduced rainfall in cities, leading to water shortage, he went on to quote the Game Changer report, published by the Climate Coalition in 2018, which noted that “of all the major pitch sports, cricket will be the hardest hit by climate change”.
He even pointed out Indian batsman Rohit Sharma’s tweet in support for the teenage activist Greta Thunberg and her Strike for Climate campaign to affirm his belief that it’s a peril that endangers the very nature of the game.
Leaving the saving of our planet to our children is utterly unfair. @GretaThunberg, you’re an inspiration. There are no excuses now. We owe the future generations a safe planet. The time for change is now.https://t.co/THGynCSLSI
He concludes his article by calling out to cricketers, administrators and politicians alike to take steps to properly prepare for climate change and secure the future of the game.