High air pollution levels in Delhi threaten to cancel the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 encounter between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka which is scheduled to be played on the 6th of November (Monday) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi.
Reporting from Delhi, India.
Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have canceled their first training sessions scheduled on Friday and Saturday respectively.
Bangladesh was supposed to have its first training session on Friday evening, but the team management decided against it, considering the high pollution levels. It is unlikely that they will train on Saturday as well.
Sri Lanka, having reached the city only on Friday following their heavy loss at the hands of the hosts India in Mumbai, were scheduled to train on Saturday afternoon from 2 pm to 5 pm. Due to the air pollution, they canceled the ground practice and were confined to a gym session at the team hotel. Sri Lanka Team Manager Mahinda Halangoda confirmed the development to ThePapare.com.
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On Friday, Delhi’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) reached 468, placing it in the “severe plus” category. This is the stage at which all emergency measures, including a ban on polluting trucks, commercial four-wheelers, and all types of construction, are mandated in Delhi.
The city’s AQI on Friday was the worst since the previous high recorded on November 12, 2021.However, during a review meeting, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) decided to monitor the situation for a day or more before implementing stricter curbs.
During the 2017 Test match in Delhi, Several Sri Lankan players experienced sickness whilst playing in the polluted air. At least five Sri Lanka fielders had also come out to field in masks.
The ICC (International Cricket Council) and DDCA (Delhi & District Cricket Association) are still monitoring the situation.
“We are currently assessing the situation. The ICC and our hosts the BCCI take the wellbeing of all participants seriously and are monitoring the air quality in Delhi. We are taking expert advice to assess the situation,” An ICC Spokesperson said.
The air quality is usually assessed and considered by the Match Officials on the day of the game, using ICC guidelines in the same way as other weather matters.
Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are out of the Semi-Final race, but will want full points in order to secure their qualification to the 2025 Champions Trophy.