Delhi T20I amid pollution crisis: Can coin at toss be spotted? Fans slam BCCI over scheduling

India Today

India Today

Author 2019-11-03 14:37:00

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India and Bangladesh will play the 1st T20I on Sunday at the Arun Jaitley Stadium (PTI Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • India and Bangladesh to play 1st T20I in Delhi on Sunday
  • Pollution level continues to remain severe despite early morning showers
  • Special arrangements made to bring down pollution level at the venue

Former cricketers Bishan Bedi and Gautam Gambhir have questioned whether Delhi deserves a sporting event amid the severe pollution crisis. R Ashwin labeled the conditions in the capital city "scary".

Schools have been shut in Delhi till November 5 and outdoor sporting events have been advised against but the cricket match is scheduled to go on.

India and Bangladesh are gearing up for the 1st of a 3-match T20I series even as pollution levels remained severe despite early morning showers in the city.

While the pollution levels have been in the severe category over the last few days, Delhi registered its worst air quality on Friday, prompting officials to declare a public health emergency in Delhi-NCR.

On Sunday, the visibility was an issue as well as thick smog engulfed Delhi. Diwali celebrations in the city coupled with stubble burning in the neighbouring states have led to a sharp spike in the air quality index of the city.

Even early morning showers and windy conditions have failed to bring down pollution levels in Delhi on Sunday. In fact, the change in weather has adversely affected air quality -- puzzling environmental experts. Instead of bringing relief, the rain has caused pollutant particles to become more concentrated due to humidity.

Despite the crisis-like situation in Delhi, the BCCI confirmed that India and Bangladesh will play as per schedule in Delhi on Sunday evening.

Speaking to the press, newly-elected BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said that the board needs to be practical while scheduling matches in pollution-prone Delhi in the winters. However, he maintained that change in venue in the eleventh hour was impossible.

"They [Delhi authorities] are expecting the match to go through. It was already scheduled so we couldn't cancel it at the last minute," Sourav Ganguly had said.

"So, in the future when we schedule, especially the northern part of India in the winter, we'll have to be a little bit more practical. But fingers crossed."

Bangladesh players trained with masks on in the lead up to the 1st T20I, bringing back memories of Sri Lankan players struggling to cope up with the Delhi air quality during an action-packed Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla in 2017. Fast bowlers Lahiru Gamage and Suranga Lakmal had complained of respiratory problems and in the end puked inside the Kotla dressing room. Later, all-rounder Dhananjaya de Silva also vomited.

India players trained without masks in both their training sessions and captain Rohit Sharma also played down the situation. However, it remains to be seen how the players cope up with the situation in the capital city on Sunday.

Notably, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) have made special arrangements to battle the dust and air pollution outside the Arun Jaitley Stadium. Water sprinklers are on duty and heavy fines have been ordered against people who engage in construction activities around the stadium.

Cricket fans in the country though aren't happy with the situation in Delhi. Imagine the plight of cricketers who are going to run around for 3 hours in the 1st T20I while people in the city are staying away from basic outdoor activities.








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