Since the deterioration started in Delhi air-quality in the post-Diwali condition, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was continuously supporting to continue the Delhi T20I between India and Bangladesh as per the schedule. But the situation is moving to the worst and the possibility of the match is under serious danger.
The hosts India and the visitors Bangladesh will start the three-match T20I series on Sunday (3rd November). On Sunday evening, India-Bangladesh will play the first T20I of the series at Arun Jaitley Stadium (Delhi). But unhealthy air quality is becoming a massive barrier to this game.
In recent years, most of the parts of Delhi is battling with very poor air quality. Sometimes, it is becoming worse for normal lives. The situation hasn’t changed in this year too.
Though Delhi was returning to the healthy air quality this year, everything has massively changed in the post-Diwali condition. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is continuously showing very poor air quality in Delhi since the Diwali festival. With the time progress, the air quality is moving towards the uninhabitable.
Recently, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has announced the public health emergency in Delhi. The situation is not developing anyway. Even the Delhi government has also announced the school shut till 5th November 2019.
AQI has shown emergency condition, Delhi T20I can be cancelled
The Arun Jaitley Stadium is also covered with the smog. Many players are struggling in the outdoor practice in the last 3-4 days as the very poor air quality is hurting their eyes and throats. Some of the members of the Bangladesh national cricket team wore the mask during the outdoor practice.
Despite observing these deteriorating situation in Delhi, the BCCI has been unable to shift the opening T20I of this series. The BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has admitted the present serious condition in Delhi air quality. But he has claimed that it is not possible to shift the game at the last moment. However, the BCCI is facing huge criticism for deciding to go on the Delhi T20I as per schedule.
Meanwhile, the situation is continuously moving to the horrifying position. While the AQI above 500 means emergency, the AQI of some of the places in Delhi were showing 999 at 2 PM on Sunday (3rd November). The visibility is at a very poor level. If the situation continues, the Delhi T20I can be called off.
A senior member from Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) has claimed that they are helpless at this moment.
He said, “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. We are helpless in such a scenario and can only pray that the match happens.”
Match referee Ranjan Madugalle hasn’t given any decision yet
The match referee has the right to call off the match in any unhealthy condition. Ranjan Madugalle is the match referee of this Delhi T20I.
But as the match has been scheduled to begin at 7:00 PM, the match referee is taking time before coming to the final decision. He is monitoring each and everything. The DDCA member is hoping for better healthy weather in the evening that can help to start the game.
The member added, “The call has to be taken by the match referee and he will consult the umpires. They can also check with the groundstaff to decide on the fate of the match if the condition stays the way it is. But then again, you never know with the weather and things could change in the evening. But if you go by the current scenario, things are a little grim to be honest.”