India’s stand-in captain Rohit Sharma on Thursday said he doesn’t expect any pollution-related worries during the first T20 International against Bangladesh in New Delhi on November 3. The capital’s air quality is in “severe” category right now, PTI reported.
On a day when Bangladesh batsman Liton Das was briefly seen wearing a face mask to beat the toxic air pollution during his team’s first training session at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Rohit sought to downplay concerns.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India said that the match will go ahead as scheduled despite the issue of air quality being raised by environmentalists and cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir.
“I have just landed and haven’t had time to assess. As far as I know the game is to be played on November 3 and will be played,” Rohit said.
“We didn’t have any problem when we played the Test match in Delhi [against Sri Lanka]. We are not aware of the exact discussion [around the poor air quality], and I haven’t had any problem,” he added.
The game Rohit was referring to took place in 2017, when the visiting Sri Lankan players sported face masks during the third Test. Play was also halted for about 20 minutes due to haze and the “very poor” air quality.
Delhi’s air quality, at this time of the year, remains either poor or severe owing to Diwali and stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana. On Thursday, at the start of Bangladesh’s training, Liton, for a period of 10 minutes, wore a face mask.
However, no other Bangladeshi player was seen wearing the mask even though a thick layer of smog could be seen at Kotla. Liton didn’t wear any mask when he batted at the nets.
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