Sports, Cricket

Heatwave impacts school cricket

Published : 30 Apr 2024 09:26 PM

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has adjusted its school cricket matches from traditional 50-over games to shorter 20-over formats due to the severe heatwave sweeping across Bangladesh. With temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius throughout April, this heatwave is being described as the most prolonged in the nation's recorded history.

The BCB has announced that, starting April 29, the divisional round matches of the Prime Bank National School Cricket tournament will shift to a Twenty20 format to mitigate the risks posed by the extreme heat.

BCB's game development manager, AEM Kawsar, noted that 64 district teams are competing at 14 different venues throughout Bangladesh. 

Match officials have been directed to conclude games by 12:30 pm, with a potential early start at 8:30 am if agreed upon by the teams, instead of the usual 9:00 am kickoff. Regular hydration breaks every 40 minutes, ample supplies of ice, lemon juice, and water.

and, where feasible, ice-bath facilities are being provided. Additionally, all venues are equipped with adequate cooling systems in the dressing rooms.

The tournament consists of 57 matches, starting with knockout rounds, progressing to a group stage for the qualifiers, and culminating in the semi-finals and finals. This event is BCB's largest cricket competition, with its inception in the early 1980s.

Despite the scorching heat, the Dhaka Premier League's one-day tournament continues, with its Super League phase expected to conclude in early May. These matches represent the only domestic cricket tournaments currently underway, largely due to the overlap with Ramadan in March.

In response to the heatwave, the country's education ministry mandated a temporary closure of educational institutions from April 21 to 25, which has been extended until May 2. Temperatures have reached a staggering 45 degrees Celsius in some regions, including the capital, Dhaka. The heatwave has resulted in over 30 fatalities and numerous hospitalizations due to heat-related illnesses.