MELBOURNE – Hazardous smoke from bushfires raging over a large swath of eastern Australia have become a headache for the nation's cricket board, which faces the threat of disruptions to its lucrative summer schedule.
Match officials halted the Big Bash League (BBL) match between Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers midway through due to "dangerous and unreasonable playing conditions" at Canberra's Manuka Oval late on Saturday.
A number of spectators required medical attention, while Adelaide's test bowler Peter Siddle was unable to bowl more than two overs as the smoky haze at the ground thickened throughout the evening.
With tinder-dry conditions and little rain forecast, wildfires may continue to burn for a number of weeks in New South Wales (NSW), which hosts the third test between Australia and New Zealand on Jan. 3 in state capital Sydney, the country's most populous city, and a further five BBL games.
"For Cricket Australia, it's a challenge," Thunder coach Shane Bond said post-match in Canberra.