Joe Root, the England captain, has been admitted to hospital in Sydney, suffering from severe dehydration, amid doubts as to whether he will be fit to resume his rearguard in the fifth and final Test at the SCG.
Root, who batted for three hours to reach the close of the fourth day’s play on 42 not out, had been in the field for all but six overs of the hottest day on record for a Test match in Australia.
Temperatures in some parts of Sydney reached 47.3C, the highest in the city for 79 years, as Root succumbed to bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting.
The ECB confirmed shortly before the start of play that Root was making his way to the ground, but was “unlikely to start this morning when play resumes”.
With England already 3-0 down in the series and precariously placed on 93 for 4 overnight, needing another 210 runs to make Australia bat again, it may require a determined rearguard from his team-mates to justify the resumption of his innings.
Dean Jones, the former Australia batsman who famously ended up on a drip after making 210 in oppressive heat during the tied Test in Madras in 1986, stated on Twitter that the sport needs to take the issue of exposure to extreme temperatures more seriously.
“After speaking to a couple of doctors this morning.. in my opinion cricket should be called off after 41C,” Jones wrote. “It’s a workplace issue now.. just my opinion ..”