• Monday, Dec 09, 2019
  • Last Update : 12:06 pm

Tigers focusing on cricket, not air pollution

  • Published at 10:28 pm November 2nd, 2019
View of the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi Dhaka Tribune/Ali Shahriyar Amin

Bangladesh team are focusing on the game at hand, rather than factors out of their control

Concerns over Sunday's T20I between host India and visiting Bangladesh have been raised, as air pollution in New Delhi has reached sky-high levels in recent times. 

However, the Bangladesh team are focusing on the game at hand, rather than factors out of their control.

The Bangladesh team landed in New Delhi Wednesday, and practiced at Arun Jaitley Stadium Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 

Players faced some difficulty with the smog in the first two days, as it led their eyes to burn and caused sore throats.

However, the players soldiered on and appeared to be doing well in Saturday's practice. 

There is no option other than to adapt, as the match will still take place at the scheduled venue despite the severe air pollution.

“The condition is not within our control. We are focusing on playing the game [Sunday] and trying to win, rather than the conditions. When we first came here a few days ago, there was more smog. The players have practiced for three days and are trying to adapt to the conditions. Everybody is fine now and we want to focus on cricket,” Bangladesh acting skipper Mahmudullah said Saturday, after the practice session. 

Delhi’s Air Quality Index score has reached 477 in the last few days, compared to Dhaka’s score of around 150. 

An AQI score between 101 and 200 means there is an increased likelihood of adverse effects and aggravation to the heart and lungs among the general public, particularly sensitive groups. 

The air quality in New Delhi has deteriorated to such an extent that the city government has classified the situation in the “severe plus” category and ordered schools to remain closed.

In separate tweets, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the city has become a “gas chamber,” while India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said: “The quality of air in Delhi is really scary, the oxygen we breathe is the basic requisite for mankind on this planet. This indeed is an emergency.”

Media reports in India have raised questions over why the BCCI has arranged an international match in Delhi at a time of the year when the air pollution is usually high.

The first T20I between Bangladesh and India will start Sunday at 7:30pm local time.