Smoke could affect the game in the third test at Sydney Cricket Ground

Sydney, January 1 (AP) With more than 100 wildfires in the state of New South Wales, there is a great possibility that smoke will affect the game during the third test between Australia and New Zealand starting Friday in Sydney Cricket Ground

Air quality has been a common concern for Sydney residents in recent weeks and smoke is expected to worsen on Saturday.

Wildfires, as they are called in Australia, have affected most states, but they have killed 15 people in this fire season, including four in the last 24 hours. Two people remain missing, more than 1,000 houses or buildings have been destroyed and around 2,500 firefighters, many of them volunteers, are fighting the flames.

Will Somerville, a New York player, who lived in Sydney most of his life, said that any concern about smoke problems does not matter to those who suffer from fires.

It's awfully awful, shocking, and it has been going on for so long, Somerville said.

I do not know what else to say. There is talk that smoke delays this game, but who cares, it means nothing compared to what people are going through.

It is possible that the game will stop, as was the case during a recent abandoned Twenty20 Big Bash League game in Canberra.

That decision in Sydney would fall on the match referee Richie Richardson and the referees, as they closely monitor air quality and visibility.

The Australian coach, Justin Langer, expressed feelings similar to those of Somerville, noting that many people are suffering and that it would be left to others to control the air quality and if it was adequate to play. The reality is that this is a cricket game, Langer said. Our hearts go out ... It will be the first time I will say this in my life, I hope it rains a bit during the test because Sydney needs it. (AP) PM PM

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