Three Bangladeshi Players Practice Wearing Masks To Combat Delhi's Toxic Air. Do We Really Want To Host A Match Here?
Even as environmentalists call for the T20I match between India and Bangladesh not to be played in Delhi due to the poor air quality, the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly gave an official statement that the match would go ahead as planned.
Well now the Bangladesh players were spotted practicing out in the middle and 3 of them were seen wearing masks. Clearly a sign that all is not well. The game is due to be held on November 3 and if the players are already uncomfortable, well it looks like a sign of things to come.
Delhi: Three Bangladeshi players practice while wearing masks, ahead of the 1st T20i against India on November 3 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. #IndvsBanpic.twitter.com/eAObQmV7GC— ANI (@ANI) November 1, 2019
The last time a match was played in similar conditions, the Sri Lankan players had to wear masks and play was also interrupted. That was back in 2017. Since Diwali, the pollution levels have risen fast with many places in Delhi having an AQI over 900. The AQI overall in Delhi is 463 while the area around the stadium is 459. Needless to say, the players will be playing in a gas chamber and people were not too pleased when they saw the cricketers wearing masks. Here's what they had to say:
आधा दिल्ली घूम रहा है मास्क पहन कर , 3 प्लेयर ने पहन लिया तो ख़बर हो गयी 😂😉😂— सूरज सिंह बिष्ट (@surajsinghbis11) November 1, 2019
कुछ भी @ANI
I think they will not play 1st t20i so they can save them from 3-0 in t20i series— 🇮🇳 The Indian Monk 🇮🇳 देशभक्ति ही सर्वोपरि।। (@TheSpecialMonk) November 1, 2019
How bad is that... How people live there in such condition 🙄🙁? Now it seems better not to live in capital..— AniyC (@AnindC) November 1, 2019
आज दुनिया का सबसे प्रदूषित शहर है दिल्ली#DelhiChokes#DelhiPollution#DelhiSmogpic.twitter.com/7IrofOuPmp— गंगेश्वर त्रिपाठी 🇮🇳 (@Sirganges) November 1, 2019
Their own country pollution is worse— Kannan (@kannandelhi) November 1, 2019
Half Delhi people is wearing mask— Ali (@Shahbaz71544123) November 1, 2019
So the question that we ask ourselves are should Delhi be hosting a match or any sporting event at all? Is it worth the risk? Is the city ready for it? What if there's another incident like what happened with Sri Lanka? Instead of learning from our mistakes we seem well on course to repeat them.
Be that as it may, the match is going ahead. So let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that there is no interruption and it is a smooth finish. The last thing we want is a game to be abandoned due to poor air quality.