Climate change and sustainability issues might hit cricket bats for six

India and Australia’s best cricketers are going head-to-head in the current test series in the world’s biggest cricket market. They’re doing so amid an unprecedented focus on the impact of climate change on the planet, and the game itself.

On this episode of The Science Briefing, we look at one surprising way the game is being challenged.

In February 2022, Australian test captain Pat Cummins launched ‘Climate for Cricket,’ to highlight the impact of global warming on Australia’s national game.

Those impacts have been the subject of multiple studies: longer and hotter heat waves set to test pitches and players. Torrents in rain-prone locations could also accelerate as warmer air traps moisture.

And cricket bats, they’re much more delicate than you think.

With just one type of willow used to fashion test-grade bats, and just two primary locations in England and Kashmir used to grow the timber, changing growth patterns due to climate change might be the yorker the bat making industry doesn’t need amid huge supply demands and sustainability questions.

Bat makers would like to push boundaries themselves, but the strict laws of the game offer little scope to fashion innovative bats.

On this episode of The Science Briefing, Matthew Agius and Dr Sophie Calabretto look at the art and science of bat making and what its climate challenges are.

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