Cricket Authorities Likely to Introduce New Heat Rules
To protect players from heat waves, a joint report by sports researchers and environmental scholars urged cricket authorities to introduce ‘heat rules’. The researchers said authorities should also consider deferring matches in catastrophic conditions due to climate change.
The review conducted by the British Association for Sustainable Sport and two universities. The researchers also called for greater vigilance towards young players and manufacturers to develop equipment to improve air circulation as extreme heat becomes prevalent.
“It’s a wake-up call for cricket, but for all sports,” said Russell Seymour, head of sustainable development at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.
“Athletes are not spectators by nature, and we can and must react to avoid crises that are approaching us.
“For every player who suffers, there are many more fans who have to work and do their daily lives in these increasingly harsh conditions,” he told Indian Express.
The report, titled ‘Hit for Six’, was about cricket-playing countries such as India and Australia, saying that extreme weather could wreak havoc on players. India and Australia, two of the leading players in the game, recently hit by natural disasters such as droughts, heatwaves and storms.
The report also noted that youth matches in Australia disrupted due to heat, while South Africa and England affected respectively by water shortages and floods. Its authors claim to have combined climate science and heat physiology to show how batsmen and wicket-keepers increasingly exposed to more mediocre performance because of these conditions.
‘Above 35 degrees Celsius, the body has no more options to cool down,’ said Mike Tipton, professor of human and applied physiology at the University of Portsmouth and author of the report.
“For batsmen and wicket-keepers, even perspiration has a limited impact because the heavy protective coating creates an extremely humid microclimate near their body.”
“Special care needs to taken to young players and to the grassroots of the sport where elite level cooling facilities are simply not available,” he added.
At the moment, cricket does not have such rules to give up or delay the match because of the heat. However, given how the climate has changed dramatically in recent times, the possibility of introducing “heat rules” into the game cannot be ruled out.