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Cricket and climate change
By: Sophia Wang
As the threat of climate change increases, people are beginning to wonder how sports will fare with the heat waves that are happening more frequently. Sports experts say that “cricket will be hardest hit by climate change.”
Cricket, the world’s second most popular sport, is often played in England, Australia, India, and Pakistan. It is a bat and ball game that includes two competing teams of eleven, two groups of three posts called wickets are set on the ground. The teams take turns to try and hit the wickets. Not only is cricket difficult to play in the heat, but it is also impossible to play in the rain.
A team of players from the West Indies arrived to play three matches in Pakistan, where the temperature reached 111 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature abnormal for even one of the hottest places on Earth.
“It honestly felt like you were opening an oven,” said Akeal Hosein, a player in the West Indies. His team had to wear ice vests during their breaks to endure the heat.
On July 22, the West Indies were scheduled to play a one-day match that lasted for 8 hours in the sun. The temperatures were in the low 90s with 60% in humidity.
A suggestion was made in 2019 to let the players wear shorts instead of trousers. Although it seemed like an obvious idea, the players were not inclined to do so, since wearing shorts would increase the likelihood of being bruised and burned on the knees from sliding on the fields.
Many cricket players in these past few years have been shown looking distressed, hot, and exhausted after long matches. Fans and players have even fainted and needed medical help from being in the sun for too long. Some cricket stadiums have tried to adjust to the heat by installing fans, misting devices, and water stations throughout the field.
“Global warming is already wreaking havoc on our sport,” said Pat Cummins, leader of an Australian cricket team.