The Indian cricket team could make outdoor training sessions optional to avoid the pollution in Delhi ahead of Sunday’s first Twenty20 International against Bangladesh. The rapid spike in the pollution levels after Diwali is a cause for concern ahead of the T20I at Feroz Shah Kotla on November 3.
Keeping in mind the poor Air Quality Index, the Indian players will be given the option to train in the gym alone after a look at the weather later in the week, according to a report by the Mumbai Mirror.
The air quality in Delhi on Monday morning after Diwali celebrations touched the 463 mark, which falls in the “severe” category.
The Indian team are to arrive on October 31 and have two training sessions on November 1 and 2 are, from 2 pm to 5 pm while Bangladesh are scheduled to train from 9 am to 12 noon. continued the report.
“The match shouldn’t be a major problem as it is a night match, but the issue is the training and you could see optional training sessions on both the days if the weather doesn’t improve,” a source was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
A senior Delhi and District Cricket Association said: “To be honest, it was hurting the eyes a bit [yesterday]. And while Bangladesh also have a training session for Thursday, I don’t think that will take place. Also, Bangladesh could ask for a slight delay in the training timing for Saturday..”
On Tuesday, environmentalists wrote to Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sourav Ganguly, requesting him to consider moving the first India-Bangladesh T20 outside Delhi as the rapidly deteriorating air quality could prove a health risk for the players and thousands of spectators.
This is not the first time Delhi pollution has affected an international cricket match. 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 as some even fell ill.