Concerns over the first India vs Bangladesh T20I set to take place in New Delhi’s Arun Jaitely Stadium later on Sunday rose as the visibility dipped to a record low in the national capital. Thick smog engulfed Delhi on Sunday morning taking the Air Quality Index into hazardous category. Saturday’s evening splashes did not provide any respite.
The AQI hit 473 at 9 am, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. The air quality at most monitoring stations was in the ‘severe’ category. At ITO which is barely a kilometer away from the Arun Jaitely Stadium – the AQI level was 488, while at Anand Vihar and RK Puram they were 483 and 457. Due to low visibility, flight operations at Delhi Airport also got affected.
Amid this situation, Rohit Sharma’s India is set to take on Bangladesh. Despite concerns over the match the BCCI had given a go ahead to the match and as of now the decision still stands. A final decision now can only be taken by the match referee after he consults with the umpires after 6.30 pm – the scheduled time for the toss. The match is slated to begin at 7pm. There are chances that conditions might change in the evening.
The Delhi and District Cricket Association, for its part continued to splash water from tankers around the stadium to try and settle the dust for the second day in a row. The groundstaff are carrying on with their final preparations.
“The visibility in morning was very very poor. But conditions have improved now and hopefully it will be better in the evening. Now the match referee will decide. We are carrying on with our preparations,” said a DDCA official.
Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo on Friday said that the dipping levels of air quality in Delhi is not ideal but the team needs to get on with it.
“It is not too hot, it is not perfect with all the smog around. But it’s the same for both teams, it is not perfect, it is not ideal. But there’s nothing to complain about, we need to get on with it and make best do’s we can. It is not ideal, it is not something you would want,” Domingo had told reporters.
“But there is nothing we can do about it. We have to make sure we prepare and deal with it. We have had little scratchy eyes and sore throat, but no one has been sick yet. We have to play three hours of the game, and we are having three hours practice session and probably this is the maximum amount of time you would want to spend in such a situation,” he added.
India’s squad for T20I series against Bangladesh: Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Washington Sundar, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Shivam Dube, and Shardul Thakur.
Bangladesh T20I Squad: Mahmudullah (c), Litton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Naim Sheikh, Mushfiqur Rahim, Md Mithun, Afif Hossain, Musaddek Hossain Saikat, Aminul Islam Biplob, Arafat Sunny, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Abu Hider Rony, and Al Amin Hossain.