The bushfires raging across New South Wales and the Sydney Area pose a threat to the Test match between Australia and New Zealand. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The Australia bushfires have ravaged the country and it has left a massive trail of devastation behind. 18 people have died so far and there is a cloud hanging over the Sydney New Year Test against New Zealand. David Warner, the Australian left-handed opening batsman, has expressed shock at the escalating horrors of bushfire that has gripped Australia and paid tributes to firefighters and volunteers who are trying their best to douse the devastating flames, terming them as the real heroes. With heatwave expected to sweep across the country on Saturday, the umpires will take a call if the match needs to be suspended or delayed incase the smoke generating from the bushfire affects the air quality or visibility.
Disturbed by the horrors of the deepening crisis, Warner shared a picture of a person with a dog watching the devastating forest fire. "I just saw this picture and I'm still in shock. When we go out to play tomorrow, not just the Australian team, but New Zealand as well, we never forget how privileged we are to live where we do and to do what we do. My heart, my family's hearts are with you. These fires are beyond words. To every firefighter, volunteer to every family, we are with you. You are the real heroes. You do us proud," Warner said on Instagram.
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I just saw this pic and I’m still in shock. When we go out to play tomorrow, not just the Australian team, but New Zealand as well, we never forget how privileged we are to live where we do and to do what we do. My heart, my family's heart, are with you. These fires are beyond words. To every Firefighter, volunteer to every family, we are with you. You are the real heroes. You do us proud.
Both the Australian and New Zealand teams will pay tribute to the firefighters and volunteers before the start of play on Friday and also wear black armbands as a mark of respect for the dead. Cricket Australia has already announced that the upcoming ODI series in March between the two nations will be used to raise money which will go to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. Speaking ahead of the Test in Sydney, Australia skipper Tim Paine has made it clear that if the conditions at the SCG deteriorate or become 'too smoky', the Australian team will be going off.
"I've been given a rough guide, but basically when it goes smoky we're coming off. I think our doc is having a pretty big say in reading the levels of air quality so it's all set, we know the number, if it happens it happens and unfortunately that's life. At times for us it's important to look outside the bubble that we live in as international cricketers. The events that are going on around the country at the moment are a real eye-opener for us. We speak about one of things being humble and showing some humility so as I've said before our thoughts certainly go out to the people that have been affected by it. It's got worse again overnight and the firefighters have been the real heroes of this summer," Paine said.