Cricket needs to take climate change seriously: Ian Chappell
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has voiced his concern over the future of cricket, especially Test cricket, which faces a dual challenge from T20 cricket and climate change. In an article for ESPNcricinfo, Chappell said that although the recently concluded Ashes series -- which ended in a 2-2 draw between England and Australia -- breathed life into the longer format of the game, Test cricket faces serious challenges ahead.
According to him, the administrators who are governing the sport must pay attention to the effects of climate change.
“The effects of climate change on the game are a major concern, and the solutions rely on decisive action being taken by some annoyingly reticent politicians,” he said.
Ever since the World Cup held in UK, there has been a steep rise in the number of matches getting abandoned due to rain.
However, the former Australian skipper believes that climate change concern goes beyond downpours delaying matches.
“For starters, drastic increases in temperature will add to the health dangers for players. There’s nothing more frustrating than a game delayed by rain, but imagine if players are off the field because the sun burns too brightly,” he said.
“That is the reality if temperatures keep rising; players will need to be protected from heat stroke or more lasting skin-cancer damage. In a litigious era, cricket boards will need to proceed with caution.”
In order for Test cricket to survive in the times to come, day-night matches should be played more often, said Chappell.
“It’s no wonder day-night matches are considered critical to Test cricket’s future,” he said.
Talking about the growing concern of rising sea levels, which might lead to imminent tsunamis, the 76-year-old said, “Then there is the concern of rising sea levels and more ferocious weather events like devastating tornadoes and cyclones.”
“There’s also the damaging effect of reduced rainfall, which has already seen one Test-match city - Cape Town - come perilously close to running out of water in recent years,” he added.
Chappell also 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.
Last week, Thunberg delivered a passionate speech wherein she slammed world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.
“These are firm reminders that cricketers and administrators need to take climate change seriously. Mind you, any disastrous effects on a sport will pale into insignificance when compared with the potential of climate change to inflict devastation on the planet,” Chappell concluded.