Delhi smog: Concerns over India versus Bangladesh T20I rise
The first T20I between India and Bangladesh is set to take place Delhi today. There are concerns regarding the match as visibility dipped to a record low in the national capital. Thick smog engulfed Delhi on Sunday morning taking the Air Quality Index (AQI) into hazardous category. Meanwhile, the DDCA is keeping fingers crossed. Here are the details.
According to a report in ANI, BCCI sources said, "The match has not been called off yet. It is too early to decide as the match is at 7 PM." A final decision will be taken by the match referee after he consults with the umpires after 6.30 PM, which is the scheduled time for the toss. The conditions might change in the evening.
"Contrary to the belief that showers on Saturday would have helped settle things down, today is the worst of the lot. The eyes are hurting and visibility is at an all-time low. Hopefully, the sun does come out and the smog settles else it will be very difficult to get the match going," a senior DDCA official told IANS.
The official also said the final decision will involve the umpires and the ground staff could also be consulted. "The call has to be taken by the match referee and he will consult the umpires. They can also check with the ground staff to decide on the fate of the match. If you go by the current scenario, things are a little grim."
The AQI hit 473 at 9 AM on Sunday, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. The air quality at most monitoring stations across the capital is in 'severe' category. Due to low visibility, flight operations at the Delhi airport also got affected. A statement read: "Due to low visibility at Delhi Airport, 37 flights were diverted between 9 AM and 1 PM."
Earlier, the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) had declared a public health emergency in Delhi-NCR due to severe air pollution. Sources claimed that BCCI President Sourav Ganguly checked with India skipper Rohit Sharma if the team is comfortable with the conditions. The T20I stand-in captain gave Ganguly the thumbs up. Team India also full training session on Friday.
"The President checked with Rohit and the team is comfortable and there is no problem they had after a full-on training session on Friday. In fact, there is an optional training even on the eve of the game. The skipper has given the thumbs up to the BCCI chief," the source said. On Thursday, Rohit had said he didn't have any problem.