Should Delhi Risk Hosting Another Match With Poor Air Quality? Last Time Players Had To Wear Masks On The Field!



Author 2019-10-30 16:21:19

For those living in the national capital, well, the air has become next to impossible to breathe in. Pollution levels, smog and toxic nature of the air has gone up and we are basically in a kind of a gas chamber. In the middle of all this, well, there is a T20I scheduled on November 3. India and Bangladesh are playing their series opener in Delhi.

Now the risks here are immense. The match itself begins at 7 pm which is a risky time. Not just the players, but the spectators too shall be at risk. Is it worth it to risk everything just to get a game over with? Surely an alternative venue could be thought of?


Environmentalists have written to the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly to shift the game due to the pollution in the air. Care For Air and My Right To Breathe, two NGOs, were pretty vocal about their stance on the matter.

"Thousands of innocent spectators at the venue will also be putting themselves at risk in order to watch the match in the prevailing situation." they said as per a PTI report.

They also highlighted how outdoor activities could be harmful in such situations.


"This puts our sportspersons at even greater risk when they play outdoors. Any match played outdoors harms the health and very lives of the players and it is irresponsible to schedule such sporting activities during times of such toxic air quality." they added.

However, the BCCI had said in a statement that the match shall go ahead as planned and even Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was confident that the match would not be affected by the pollution.


While all this optimism is well and good, have we forgotten what happened the last time the toxic air played host to a cricket match? Rewind to 2017 when Sri Lanka were playing a Test in Delhi in conditions which were hardly fit to breathe in. Play was interrupted for a while and then the Lankan fielders had to wear masks out in the middle. The AQI at that time was 338. Right now, in the build up to the game, it is 410. Well over the acceptable limit.

Delhi's pollution is so bad that it can go above 600 if the situation worsens. Not the best scenario for the players or those present at the ground.


So is it worth it to put it all at risk? The BCCI is not showing any signs of pulling out and it is possible the game may go off without a hitch. So fingers crossed when the Men In Blue take on the Bangla Tigers in the capital. Let's just pray we don't see players fielding in masks again. It will be history repeating itself and we do not want another embarrassment like last time.


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