Greta, here’s a googly: Is cricket causing climate change?

By Bhushan Salunke
The Devil’s Advocate, serving you a cocktail of humour, wit and sarcasm

Is there a direct link between global warming and cricket? This may sound as absurd as looking for a connection between climate change and the Coronavirus—which some people were desperately attempting to find. But before we delve into this topic, let me give you a quick update on Greta Thunberg, without who no climate change discussion is permissible and complete.

Greta, the climate change child activist, is growing from strength to strength. After pocketing the “Times Person of the Year” award, she has been nominated for the second time in a row, for the Nobel Peace Prize, which she missed out narrowly last time. Her passion for saving the planet is so great that she has trademarked her name and her campaign, lest someone else usurp that glory.

To add the cherry on top, Greta is busy with a Kim Kardashian-style reality TV show, produced by BBC. Now, who will save the world when Greta is busy wearing makeup and facing the harsh camera lights? Her minions all over the world, including celebs such as Al Gore, Barack Obama, David Attenborough, Leonardo de Caprio, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have all agreed to hold the fort until her return.

It is gratifying to see how adults, led by a child, are working together to save the planet. For a school dropout, Greta has achieved so many great things in such a short time. This brings into doubt the usefulness of schooling in a child’s life. I have banned all homework for my kids and I am encouraging them to get into vegan activism. Greta’s parents, who have had no role in Greta’s celebrity status, must be proud as punch.

The article topic got triggered in my head when Greta shamed Roger Federer, the tennis player, over his sponsorship deal with Credit Suisse, with the tweet “Credit Suisse is destroying the planet. Roger, do you support them?” Some Greta-haters would call this cyber bullying. A child bullying an adult? Imagine that.

Greta is a firm believer in shaming people into action. Her “flygskam” (shaming people who fly) has the airline industry on tenterhooks. Greta does not fly (nor should you) not because she has aerophobia but because flying is killing the planet. She sails everywhere she goes (so should you).

Greta’s now legendary speech—”You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”—attacks large corporations which are bent on destroying the very same world they want to do business in. Why are these companies self-harming themselves?

Indian cricketers, besides making a living out of playing cricket, endorse many products; from pappadums to luxury cars, to supplement their meagre cricket income

My next worrying thought was, “What if Greta targeted Indian cricketers, just the way she did Roger Federer, for their sponsorship deals with large corporations?”

Indian cricketers, besides making a living out of playing cricket, endorse many products; from pappadums to luxury cars, to supplement their meagre cricket income.

Will Virat Kohli soon be on Greta’s blacklist? Will he wither under her “How dare you?” stare and surrender his endorsements?

On closer investigation, I am convinced that cricket does cause climate change and has a large carbon footprint. Let me explain.

First, because of the different avatars of cricket (one day, test, premier leagues, 20/20 etc), cricketers lead hectic lives, always living out of their suitcases. They are constantly buzzing around the world in planes, which causes global warming. The WAGS (wives & girlfriends) also tag along escalating the problem. The cricketers are breaking Greta’s cardinal rule of “no fly” and will incur her wrath.

Second, cricketers, just like Roger Federer, endorse large corporations, which are causing global warming. Because of the huge number of products/services that cricketers endorse, you would be forgiven if you thought that cricket is not a sport but an advertising billboard for businesses. Alcohol, soft drinks, energy drinks, watches, fried chicken, cars, sporting goods, tyres, fashion, fast food, paints, chocolates, betting, and airlines are all in the mix. The number of logos on a cricketer’s clothes would be more than the stickers on a well-travelled luggage bag moving around lazily on an international baggage carousel.

The cricketer’s favourite drink is Pepsi or Coke. At times, I really believe that this is the secret to their success. Their fans guzzle these soft drinks by the barrels. But why would they want to endorse or promote a drink that is known to cause bad health? Are they not worried about the health of their fanatic followers who worship them, literally? The God of cricket, Sachin, who promotes Coke, has a temple built for him. Why are these cricketers spreading obesity and illness? Well, Gods work in mysterious ways.

Every time a cricket fan opens a can or bottle of fizzy drink, endorsed by a cricketer, guess what comes out? CO2, the greenhouse gas that is killing the planet. OMG. Imagine the amount of CO2 released by 1.3 billion Indian cricket fans, on a match day. That would block out the sun and cause instant global warming. The cricketers have just handed their fans a lethal weapon, which causes global warming.

I am not going to get into a diatribe about Pepsi/Coke plastic bottles that are choking our dear turtles & killing our whales and causing plastic pollution, because it sickens me. I won’t even mention the extreme usage of electricity, generated by climate change causing coal-fired power stations, during flood-lit matches.

Third, the meat industry is a big contributor to global warming. Animal agriculture, for the production of meat, is accountable for producing 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than all cars, planes and other forms of transport put together. With cricket supporting evil corporations such as McDonalds (beef burgers) and KFC (chickens), cricket is a complicit party to the global warming problem. This will put cricket in Greta’s bad books. Again, why would cricketers wish harm on their fans by promoting fast foods which cause diseases?

Fourth, a cricket ball is made with a core of cork, which is layered with tightly wound string, and covered by a leather case, made of cow hide, with a slightly raised sewn seam. So, cows are used in the making of cricket balls. Cows in turn cause global warming due to their farming process and their methane farts. Cork comes from a tree, that must be taken down for making the ball, further aggravating global warming.

Fifth, cricket bats are made from willow trees. For this purpose, trees must be cut down. Everyone understands the value and role of trees in reducing global warming. By cutting down these trees, the world is losing its foot soldiers against the climate change war. The use of child labour in the manufacture of cricket bats and balls is a topic for another day.

If cricket were to be declared a religion, it would be the fastest growing religion in the world. It is just not man-made global warming but woman-made too. Women’s cricket, with their cheap entry tickets ($20 for adults, $5 for kids) is on the rise, exacerbating the problem

Last, climate change is caused by CO2 released by humans and tons of it is generated and released during a cricket match. That CO2 causes global warming has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt by the “97% scientists”. Every human breathes out C02. Indians are passionate when it comes to watching cricket. If cricket were to be declared a religion, it would be the fastest growing religion in the world. It is just not man-made global warming but woman-made too. Women’s cricket, with their cheap entry tickets ($20 for adults, $5 for kids) is on the rise, exacerbating the problem. Emotions run high, especially when there is a cricket match on between India and Pakistan, its arch rival. You would think a war had just been declared, when the two teams get down to play.

Just as we have a horse race that stops Australia once a year, every cricket match stops India in its tracks. In the heat of the passion of watching cricket, which is accompanied by heavy breathing and panting caused by the excitement, large amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere and this amount doubles if Anushka is in the stadium. Included in this grim situation is the CO2 released from the fizzy drinks being gulped down by the screaming fans, adding to India’s contribution to global CO2 emission of 7%.

In short, the highest density of CO2 emission in the world is detected above a stadium when a cricket match between India and Pakistan is on.

Considering all the facts just laid out, cricket does indeed cause global warming. Whenever a cricket ball is bowled, the sea level just goes up a wee bit.

Hoping Greta does not train her guns on cricket and shame Virat Kohli. How dar will he be?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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