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ACT smoke threatens international cricket

By AAP Newswire

A women's international cricket tri-series between Australia, England and India in Canberra this weekend could be abandoned due to bushfire smoke.

Bushfires are burning within 10 kilometres of Canberra and the national capital has been sporadically blanketed in smoke, depending on winds, for more than two months.

Cricket officials will monitor the air quality index as temperatures are forecast to reach 42C on the first two days of play at Manuka Oval on Friday and Saturday, plus 35C on Sunday.

The International Cricket Council guidelines state that an air quality index of 300 and above - which has been recorded in the ACT this month - is hazardous.

The Australian Institute of Sport, based in Canberra, says an index of 150 is dangerous for intense exercise and above 200 is dangerous regardless of activity.

A Big Bash League match between the Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers at Manuka Oval was abandoned due to bushfire smoke last month.

W-League and WNBL matches have also been abandoned in Canberra this summer for the same reason.

A decision on whether to suspend or abandon play this weekend will be up to the ICC umpires and officials.

The Australian side has arrived in the capital and will monitor conditions over the next two days, with the team doctor will decide if training should be moved indoors.