Royal Challengers Bangalore players sport their special 'go-green' jerseys. © BCCI

Royal Challengers Bangalore players sport their special ‘go-green’ jerseys. © BCCI

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has tied up with United Nations Environment to promote ‘green’ cricket in the country, aiming to spread greater awareness about environmental challenges in India and highlight alternate and more sustainable solutions.

As part of the agreement, the BCCI will endeavour to reduce its environmental impact by greening operations and engaging cricketers and fans in green initiatives.

Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI secretary, and Eric Solheim, executive director of UN Environment, agreed upon the partnership on Sunday (May 27).

The partnership will also focus on phasing out single-use plastic across stadiums in the country. The BCCI has already begun raising awareness on this issue. During the course of IPL 2018, a film with messages from captains of various franchises was created and aired in stadiums highlighting hazards of plastic pollution.

“The Board is happy to announce its partnership with UN Environment. This is a major step in spreading the message of environmental conservation. We will help make cricket green and sensitise spectators towards minimising waste generation during matches,” said Choudhary.

Although, this is the first agreement of its nature at a national scale, there have been independent environment-friendly initiatives implemented across the country.

Notably, Royal Challengers Bangalore have started a tradition of dedicating one Indian Premier League game each season towards environmental awareness. In that match, they swap their red kits for green ones.

The Karnataka State Cricket Association-owned M Chinnaswamy Stadium, which incidentally plays host to Bangalore in the IPL, has phased out plastic cups and bottles with environment-friendly alternatives.

Similarly a Green Protocol based on the 3Rs concept of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ was adopted by Indore’s Holkar Stadium for the four IPL matches this season they hosted, as home to Kings XI Punjab.

“The environment and sports are more closely connected than people think. If we don’t have a healthy environment, then sports will not thrive. I am delighted that UN Environment is partnering with the BCCI to use the power of cricket to inspire action for a cleaner environment,” said Solheim.