Ian Chappell, former captain to the Australians, voiced his concern this week regarding the effect which climate change has on the game. He stated that administrators in charge of governing the game need to keep the impact of climate change on consideration. This statement is based on the ever-increasing number of games which had to be abandoned due to rain since the UK hosted the World Cup.
During the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup many matches had to be abandoned as an effect of the constant downpour. This meant that the game was suffering severely under criticism for the number of events which washed away with unexpected rain. According to Chappell, it isn’t only the rain which fuels his concern but also higher temperatures which are experienced, and this is a reason for concern over the players’ health.
He stated that the delaying of games is very frustrating, but it would be even worse if players need to abandon the field due to the harsh sunlight. He stated that in future players would have to take better precautions to protect them against sunburn, heat stroke and skin cancer. Due to his battle with skin cancer, this is a matter close to the heart of the former captain. His solution for these concerns is an increase in day-night matches. He perceives day-night games as critical to the existence of Test cricket in the future.
The Future of Cricket
Weather and changing climate concerns are not the only threat which Chappell sees in the future of Test Cricket. Another would be the ever-increasing popularity of T20 cricket. Over the past couple of years, the popularity of T20 cricket exploded. T20 cricket is bringing along a different style of play, according to the captain. In T20 the batting varies significantly from that which is displayed in Test cricket matches. He believes that the artistry which is shown in Test cricket is replaced with a more aggressive approach in T20. This dynamic approach is entertaining to the crowds and hence brings along a higher degree of popularity among the supporters.
It might however also lead to the batting style which Test cricket is familiar for, to die out completely. Therefore he urges the development of batsmen to keep the craft of batting alive. He believes that if batting becomes nothing more than efforts to clear the boundary on regular intervals with sheer power, then the batting style which makes Test cricket brilliant, will be diminished completely and Test cricket will die out over time.
The 76-year-old Chappel urged roleplayers in the world of cricket to add their support behind the cause of climate change. He stated that the rising sea levels and other climate changes could in future be detrimental to the sport. He also mentioned the effect of a devastating drought which the Test-match city, Cape Town, suffered recently.