England captain Joe Root says it is “scary” to think that cricket may not be played outdoors in certain parts of the world in 30 years’ time because of the impact of climate change.
Cricket already takes place in some of the hottest parts of the globe, but that could soon become impossible.
Root says everyone needs to play a part in protecting the environment in order to preserve the sport as we know it.
“It’s quite stark and something needs to be done,” he told BBC Sport.
“It is scary to think the game as it is right now may not be the case in 30 years’ time.
“I’m sure we will have to evolve and develop as a sport and as players as well.”
Root, 30, knows all too well the impact that playing in extreme temperatures can have on the human body. The batsman was taken to hospital to be treated for severe dehydration after batting in sweltering heat during the fifth Ashes Test against Australia in Sydney in 2018.
Temperatures reached 47.3C in Sydney that day, the hottest day in the city for 79 years, with temperatures out in the middle at the Sydney Cricket Ground estimated to have been even higher.
Root thinks there probably “wasn’t enough of a focus” on hydration back then and says all players now place greater emphasis on coping with hot conditions.
“Obviously physical fitness is really important but more recently hydration has become a real focus point of touring in difficult parts of the world,” he said.
“We have just been to India and Sri Lanka and there was a lot of attention to detail on how we were going to stay hydrated when we were playing, making sure there were regular almost timed intervals when we top up our hydration and physically doing everything we could to make sure that wasn’t having an impact on our performance.”
Root says more needs to be done to limit the damaging impact of climate change that could cause elements of the game to be lost forever.
“There are a number of things we can do individually which collectively could make a big impact and a big change in things moving forward,” he said.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have a brilliant career and play in some wonderful places around the world. It would be a real shame if that wasn’t possible for future generations.”