The Supreme-Court mandated panel Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority on Friday declared a public health emergency in Delhi-NCR as the pollution levels entered the ‘severe-plus category’ in the region.
Delhi’s Arun Jaitely Stadium is set to host the series opening first T20I between India and Bangladesh on November 2 and there have been calls for cancelling the fixture altogether.
However, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly dismissed the idea saying it’s not possible to do at the last minute.
On Thursday, Bangladesh cricketer Liton Das was seen practising wearing a mask which he later attributed to personal reasons rather than as a precaution against the Delhi weather. However, on Friday, more members of Bangladesh squads including spin consultant Daniel Vettori, Al Amin and Abu Hider Rony were seen wearing the mask during practice sessions.
When Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo was asked about the severe condition, he replied, “We know the Sri Lankans struggled last time and look there’s a bit of pollution in Bangladesh as well, so it’s a not a massive shock unlike some other countries. The players have just got on with the game and haven’t complained too much about it.”
He continued, “It’s only three hours so it’s going to be easy. There maybe scratchy eyes, sore throat but that’s ok. No one is dying. There’s no breeze but obviously not perfect weather with the smog. But it same for both teams. Not perfect, not ideal but you can’t complaint about and get on with the game.”
When the question was put to India batting coach Vikram Rathoure, he said, “You are asking the wrong person. I have played all my cricket in North India (Punjab and Himachal Pradesh). Basically nothing special. There is pollution but a game has been scheduled and we have to play.”