Head backs officials to make right call amid wildfire concerns ahead of third Test

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Australia batsman Travis Head said there are greater concerns than cricket as the country struggles with widespread bush fires.
Australia batsman Travis Head said there are greater concerns than cricket as the country struggles with widespread bush fires.

Travis Head says Australia's players "have every confidence in our officials" with the third Test against New Zealand set to go ahead despite the ongoing bush fires sweeping the country.

The blazes across New South Wales and Victoria have claimed 12 lives so far, with thousands of people having to move to coastal areas to escape the ongoing crisis inland.

It has resulted in blankets of smoke drifting across several cities which has, in turn, affected sporting venues with the Big Bash game between the Sydney Thunder and Adelaide Strikers abandoned 10 days ago due to poor air quality.

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The third Test is due to get underway at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday, but Head played down the importance of cricket at a time when people were facing such difficulties, and also backed those in charge to make the right calls.

Speaking at Sydney Airport, the South Australian told reporters: "There's a lot more concerns than just the game of cricket, I guess.

"There's a lot more people being worse affected than us. Our thoughts are with them and we'll just play the game as best we can for our health and safety. We have every confidence in our officials.

"Player safety is obviously an aspect of it but, having seen what happened in Canberra a couple of weeks ago, I'm sure the match officials will put us in the best position and we won't have to worry about it too much."

Head hit a century in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne as Australia established an unassailable 2-0 lead over the Black Caps and was pleased to have made a contribution, especially after coming in for some harsh criticism from former skipper Ricky Ponting.

He added: "It was nice to get some runs. I've had limited opportunity with the way our batters have been playing so there was a little bit of frustration over whether I'd get an opportunity to go out and get a big score, so it was nice once I got a start to do that and contribute for Australia."

In previous years, teams tended to relax after winning the series, but the new ICC Test Championship means there are points up for grabs at the SCG and Head is adamant Australia will continue to play at full throttle.

"There's a lot to play for. We've been fantastic at backing up games, something that hasn't been a strength of ours over the past couple of years – winning games after winning series – and we're on a roll at the minute, playing some wonderful cricket.

"So, hopefully, we can finish the summer really well."

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