Climate change hits cricket for a six

More games could be disrupted by rainfall, leading to financial losses

Image: Supplied/Betway

In February this year, leading environmental action group Climate Coalition reported that the impact of climate change would be felt harder by cricket than any other sport. The report indicated that wetter winters and more intense summer rainfall could disrupt games.

Speaking on behalf of UK-based Glamorgan Cricket, head of operations Dan Cherry confirmed this and warned that climate change could fundamentally change game conditions.

“The less cricket we play, the fewer people will watch it, the less they will come to the ground and pay to enter, the less chance there is for young people to be inspired,” said Cherry.

The loss of viewership has already been felt, with 27% of England’s one-day international spectatorship reduced because of rain delays. With rain-affected matches doubling since 2011 and 13 one-day internationals abandoned in 2012, it’s easy to see how the effects of climate change can leave a huge hole in the industry.

Climate change, in England, is not always easy to identify, with temperatures swooping to 27° Celsius on one day and dropping again the next.

“In this country, you’re relying on the weather,” said Nottinghamshire head groundsman Steve Birks. The Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club is available at 5/2 to win the 2018 County Championship in the latest cricket betting.

“One week it’s 27° Celsius, and the next it’s central-heating weather again. You can't rely on it being red hot for a week,” he said.

Birks, who will prepare the Trent Bridge pitch for England’s Test match against India in August, believes climate change has become more apparent now.

“The rain is getting tropical and heavier,” he said. “We’re getting thunderstorms more often when it rains – I think that’s when you can tell the difference. But then that’s when the new outfield comes into its own.”

This is not the first time the effects of climate change has damaged the lifespan of the sport in England. County cricket clubs were nearing financial ruin in the 1930s after a series of wet summers. Persistent rain, 20 years later, saw club officials experimenting with rubber mats, suction machines and blankets to avoid financial ruin due to weather.

A new drainage system has been put in place at Nottinghamshire but is apparently too efficient, according to former England captain Kevin Pietersen. The ex-skipper claimed it made the pitch “dry and lifeless”.

Birks told Betway Insider: “We knew the 2014 pitch was coming to the end of its life, but it’s trying to fit in when you’re going to dig it up. When you dig it up and take it away, you can’t play on it for two years.

“They deal with it in Australia, where the temperatures are twice as hot as here. Last year we mowed the square slightly longer, so that plenty of moisture gets locked in. Our pitches start with maybe 32% moisture in. That’s plenty.”

Birks said measures against climate change would increase in years to come.

This article was submitted by Betway.