Bushfires in Australia continue to wreak havoc in the state of New South Wales. Their impact is not only being felt by the common public but is also starting to affect the sporting activities of the nation. Some weeks ago, a Sheffield Shield (Australia's premier domestic multi-day cricket competition) match was affected by the haze emanating from the bushfires.
Now, in what seems to be a positive indicator of the situation becoming worse, a T20 cricket match (the shortest format of cricket) in the Big Bash League (the glamorous franchise cricket tournament) has been forced to be abandoned due to heavy smoke.
This match was being played in the national capital of Canberra and involved the home team Sydney Thunder against Adelaide Strikers. The Manuka Oval, as the stadium is known, saw an interesting contest where the Thunder set their opponents a target of 162. In reply, the visiting team was 40/1 in 4.2 overs when play was called off due to the heavy smoke that had entered the ground due to the surrounding bushfires.
In this version of cricket, both teams need to bat at least 5 overs each to constitute a game. Since the Strikers has fell short of 5 overs by just four balls, the match had to be declared as a no-result. The points for the match were shared by both the teams.
This incident now also puts a doubt on the upcoming New Year's Test which has been traditionally hosted by the SCG. Since the iconic stadium also suffered from the overhang of haze during the last Shield game it hosted, there will be concerns as to the viability of having two international teams – host Australia and visitors New Zealand – player there.
In 2017, an ongoing Test match between India and Sri Lanka in Delhi ran into problems as the Sri Lankan players complained about having difficulties with their breath due to the peculiar smog that has been afflicting the city during winter months of last few years. It's clear that climate change will not leave sports untouched.