Ian Chappell rings heat alarm for Test cricket
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell believes Test cricket is threatened not just by the rising popularity of T20s but also by climate change, something that the Boards around the globe need to pay serious attention to.
“Closer inspection of the five-day game indicates there are some serious challenges ahead. Two of the biggest concerns are the effects of the T20 game and climate change on the longer version,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.
Sharing his concerns about the future of Test cricket, Chappell said: “The effect of climate change on the game is a major concern, and the solutions rely on decisive action being taken by some annoyingly reticent politicians.
“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.”
The former captain, who has battled skin cancer, said exposure to sun for too long could make players susceptible to the ailment he has been fighting.
“That is the reality if temperatures keep rising; players will need to be protected from heat stroke or more lasting skin-cancer damage. It’s no wonder day-night matches are considered critical to Test cricket’s future,” he wrote.
Concerned about the rising sea levels, Chappell 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.
“These are firm reminders that cricketers and administrators need to take climate change seriously,” he added.
The 76-year-old also pointed out the varied effects of T20 cricket on the five-day format. “There’s no doubt that the explosive nature of T20s has already had a profound effect on Test-match batting.
“The prevailing mindset in tricky Test match conditions is for batsmen to adopt the attitude ‘I’ll get them before they get me’,” he wrote.