Both Australia and New Zealand playing are wearing black armbands during the Sydney Test in honor of the fire and emergency personnel who have been dealing with fires across the country over the last few weeks.
Three volunteer firefighters have been recently killed in Australia, while eight people are now confirmed dead following Tuesday’s fires on the New South Wales (NSW) coast.
Cricket Australia earlier released a statement confirming that both sets of players will wear black armbands, while the fans took part in a minute’s applause following the anthems.
It was also announced that the three-match ODI series against New Zealand in March would raise funds for fire-impacted communities.
“SCG Trust and Cricket Australia also announced the Gillette ODI Series in March will be dedicated to raising funds for the Australian Red Cross to support those affected by the bushfires,” CA confirmed.
“Signed playing shirts from the Domain Boxing Day Test will be auctioned online from (Thursday), with all proceeds also going to the Australian Red Cross.”
The ongoing Sydney Test is now in its 12th year of association with the McGrath Foundation, with day three again set to turn the SCG into a sea of pink for Jane McGrath Day.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s hopes of salvaging something from a disappointing tour of Australia were rocked by illness ahead of the Sydney Test.
Captain Kane Williamson, batsman Henry Nicholls, and spinner Mitchell Santner were ruled out on Friday morning in devastating news for the visitors’ chances of securing a breakthrough win after losing in Perth and Melbourne.
While Colin de Grandhomme was able to dismiss Joe Burns early, Australia still reached lunch at 95-1, having already battled through the toughest batting conditions expected for the next few days of the Test.
The home side fought to 240/2 heading into the final hour of play. Marnus Labuschagne was unbeaten on 110 while Steve Smith was batting on 63 at the other end.