Australia vs New Zealand: Cricket Australia to monitor air quality in Melbourne, Sydney for remaining Tests as wildfires rage on

Rampaging wildfires around Australia have put Cricket Australia (CA) and the national Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) on high alert ahead of the country’s remaining two Test matches against New Zealand.

Reuters, Dec 23, 2019 13:15:50 IST

Melbourne: Rampaging wildfires around Australia have put Cricket Australia (CA) and the national Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) on high alert ahead of the country’s remaining two Test matches against New Zealand.

Smoke from the fires, which have destroyed more than 800 homes and destroyed more than 3.7 million hectares (9.1 million acres) of bushland across five states, forced the abandonment of a domestic Twenty20 match in Canberra on Saturday.

Six people have been killed in the fires.

Australia vs New Zealand: Cricket Australia to monitor air quality in Melbourne, Sydney for remaining Tests as wildfires rage on

Wildfires have destroyed more than 800 homes and 3.7 million hectares of bushland in Australia. AP

The second Test of the three-match series between Australia and New Zealand starts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday, with the final match scheduled to start in Sydney on 3 January.

“It’s a growing issue that we're seeing around the country, certainly Sydney and Canberra mainly,” CA head of operations Peter Roach told reporters at the MCG when asked about the possibility of smoke affecting the matches.

“We’ve got a lot of data from the weather bureaus to say when things get dangerous, but what we're seeing is the visibility seems to be the most obvious thing.

“What we’re finding is it comes in quick but also goes quick.”

While visibility was the main issue, smoke inhalation could cause problems for both the crowd and the players, Roach added.

A number of spectators in Canberra required medical attention, although Roach said the players would be most affected.

“What we’re finding, and all the science will back this, is the participants (players) are more prone to that because they’re exercising at the time,” Roach said.

“What we’ve seen in Sydney and Canberra, as we saw the other night was that it does get to a point where it becomes a challenge.”

BOM senior meteorologist Kevin Parkyn added his agency would be monitoring the air quality levels closely, especially with temperatures predicted to reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) during the latter stages of the Melbourne Test.

“We do expect smoke to be in the state of Victoria but usually it (air quality) will be at a high level,” Parker said.

“The EPA has sensors out measuring the concentration of smoke in the atmosphere.

“They’ll be providing updates in real time on air quality.”

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Updated Date: Dec 23, 2019 13:15:50 IST






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1 India 5046 120
2 New Zealand 3241 112
3 South Africa 3177 102
4 England 4593 102
5 Australia 3672 102
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7364 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10071 258
6 New Zealand 6056 252