India will take on Bangladesh in the first of the three T20Is at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Sunday. The match has come under the scanner not for any cricketing reason but the high rate of pollution in the national capital. The cricketing fraternity has still not forgotten the gloomy picture of Sri Lankan cricketers wearing masks to avoid pollution at the same venue (Feroz Shah Kotla then) in a Test match in December 2017.
This time, the environmentalists have urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to shift the match elsewhere keeping in view the health concerns of both the players and spectators. New BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Thursday cleared the air saying the match will go on as scheduled in Delhi even though the air quality in the capital city fell into “severe” category over the last few days.
Former cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir said recently that the pollution was a far more serious issue than the cricket match and a bigger responsibility lies in tackling it. The MP from East Delhi has now said that Delhi should not organise any sporting event till its pollution problem is brought under control.
“No match or sporting event is bigger than the people of Delhi. I do not think any match should happen here in Delhi until the pollution level come under control. The biggest issue that is bothering the Delhites is about pollution,” Gambhir, who retired from cricket last December, was quoted as saying by Times Now.
Gambhir has also challenged Kejriwal govt on pollution
Earlier this week, doctors advised people to take precautions to deal with the pollution problem. They have been told to wear masks and avoid walking out early in the morning and late in the evening as the concentration of pollutants remains precarious at those times.
Gambhir, who is known to be straightforward with his words, has also challenged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to inform the people about measures that his government has taken to curb pollution in the national capital in the last four-and-half years. Meanwhile, the T20I in Delhi between India and Bangladesh is set to be played on Sunday, November 3.
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