Bengaluru, Oct. 31: India is set to take on Bangladesh in the first T20I on November 3 (Sunday) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. But ahead of matchday there had been growing concerns about the capital's air quality.
But according to a report in Hindustan Times, the argument has been put to rest and the match will go ahead as per schedule. There had been a growing clamour about that the series opener needed to be shifted out of the capital after Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) reached the severe range over the last couple of days, post Diwali.
Environmentalists penned a request to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, asking him to consider moving the first India-Bangladesh T20I outside Delhi.
In the letter addressed to Ganguly, the environmentalists said the toxic air in the national capital could prove a health risk for the players and thousands of spectators.
"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. Care For Air and My Right To Breathe are clean air awareness and advocacy non-profit organisations.
But the uncertainity of the match has been put to rest as on Wednesday DDCA officials in a statement to Hindustan Times, confirmed that the match will go on as per schedule. "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," A DDCA official told Hindustan Times.
This has been an area of concern before as well. Back in December 2017, the Sri Lankan cricket team was left gasping for breath during a Test match at the Kotla, forcing most of their players to wear protective masks even as some fell ill. But the DDCA officials stated that it is not that bad this time and the match will go on as per schedule.