No change of venue, Delhi T20I versus Bangladesh to go as per schedule despite poor air quality: Report
With degrading air quality in Delhi/NCR, questions have arisen regarding the scheduled first T20I between India and Bangladesh at the Arun Jaitely Stadium in New Delhi. Many environmentalists and former cricketers have asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to shift the match from Delhi given the current state of pollution in the national capital. However, the three-match series opener against Bangladesh is set to go as per schedule and the preparations are going in full flow for the highly-anticipated match.
Delhi/NCR’s air quality has taken a hit post Diwali and the doctors have asked everyone to take several precautions to tackle the poor air quality in national capital. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the air quantity index was recorded at 416 at 11 am on October 30. And it is a big no when it comes to playing outdoor sports under such hazardous circumstances.
According to a report, a DDCA official has said that there has been no communication from BCCI’s end in relation to shifting the venue from Delhi. He added that the preparations are going as per schedule and the broadcasters are set to arrive on Thursday.
“Yes we heard about the letter but there has been no such communication from BCCI’s end. In fact, we have been told to carry on with preparations for Sunday’s match. The broadcasters are set to arrive tomorrow (Thursday),” the DDCA official said while adding, “the air quality generally deteriorates here at this time, it is a known fact but I don’t think that will cause problems to the players this time,” the official added.
Earlier, noted environmentalists had written to the newly-appointed BCCI president Sourav Ganguly requesting him to shift the series opener to a different venue. Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has also voiced his concern regarding the degrading air quality in the national capital.
“In the light of extreme pollution in Delhi, we would like to request you to consider shifting the venue for the first T20 outside of Delhi. Making our cricketers play a physically demanding sport for 3-4 hours in Delhi’s toxic air will end up doing more damage to our cricket team’s health in the long run,” Jyoti Pande of Care For Air and Ravina Raj Kohli of My Right To Breathe said in the letter.
NOTE: AQI between 0-50 is considered “good”, 51-100 “satisfactory”, 101-200 “moderate”, 201-300 “poor”, 301-400 “very poor”, and 401-500 “severe”. Above 500 is “severe-plus emergency” category.