Cricket players pay tribute to Australian firefighters and prepare to delay smoke

Sydney, January 2 (AFP) Australian and New Zealand cricketers will pay tribute to firefighters and forest fire victims during the third Test in Sydney, officials said, as they prepare for possible delays if the air quality is It collapses due to smoke.

At least 18 people have lost their lives in one of Australia's most devastating forest fire seasons, which has seen fires across the country, even on the outskirts of Sydney.

The match, which begins on Friday, will continue, but the game will be suspended at the discretion of the referee, in case the smoke significantly affects air quality or visibility.

Saturday is emerging as the main concern, when another heat wave is expected to spread throughout the country and create dangerous fire conditions.

Like the rain, the rules are set to add time, to suspend the game (for tests). But what we are discovering is that (the smoke) comes fast but also goes fast, said Peter Roach, chief of operations of Cricket Australia, to cricket.

We believe it is unlikely to be there for a full day.

We could see some challenges during that day, but we will play it as rain or adverse weather. You can add time.

Before playing on Friday, both parties will participate in a minute's applause for fire and emergency services workers and will wear black bracelets as a sign of respect for the deceased.

Cricket Australia also announced a fundraising campaign for the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund during the one-day games between Australia and New Zealand in Sydney in March.

On behalf of the Australian cricket, we wish everyone fighting the fires in Australia a safe New Year, said Australian coach Justin Langer and Captain Tim Paine in a joint letter published in local media on Thursday.

We pray that conditions improve, fires decrease and rains arrive. And above all, we hope that all Australians will join and help each other in this incredibly difficult time.

The issue of smoke is difficult for cricket officials, who currently rely on a combination of air quality guidelines from the International Cricket Council, state governments and the Australian Sports Institute.

But there are inconsistencies in what is considered insecure.

A Big Bash League game in Canberra was abandoned this month due to the toxic haze of forest fires, but several have been played in Sydney since the season began two weeks ago. At the Australian Open golf last month in Sydney, players complained of itchy eyes and breathing problems, and Ryan Chisnall of New Zealand wore a face mask. (AFP) APA APA