Big Bash: Bushfires cause Adelaide Strikers v Sydney Thunder to be abandoned

Smoke in Canberra
Smoke engulfed the Manuka Oval in Canberra

The Big Bash League game between Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Thunder has been abandoned because of poor air quality caused by smoke from bushfires.

Close to 100 fires were burning across Australia's eastern state of New South Wales on Saturday, of which six were characterised as "emergency level".

Thunder were 40-1 chasing 162 to win when the match was called off on Saturday and will split the points.

The decision was made 4.2 overs into Thunder's run-chase.

"Player, fan and staff safety is the number one priority," said an official statement from the BBL.

Umpire Paul Wilson said: "It's about air quality. We would not have started [the match] like this."

Canberra has been blanketed by smoke for a number of days but conditions were deemed safe to begin the match.

So far, eight people have died during Australia's bushfire emergency, while more than 700 houses have been destroyed and millions of hectares of land scorched since September.

Fellow umpire Sam Nogajski told Fox News: "There was one [ball] that was hit to square leg then and Paul [Wilson] had a problem picking it up.

"Visibility is very difficult. We can smell the smoke and the air quality itself is something else."

Adelaide Strikers opener Jake Weatherald added: "It's been a bit hard to breathe all game. Even the smell - it was like you were standing next to a fire."

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