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Cricket Fans Worry as India And Bangladesh Take on Delhi’s Air Pollution in First T20

With the smog and deteriorating condition of Delhi air, fans are worried about the health of players and attendees ahead of the first T20 contest at Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Anurag Verma | News18.com

Updated:November 3, 2019, 4:59 PM IST
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Cricket Fans Worry as India And Bangladesh Take on Delhi’s Air Pollution in First T20
Photo by CricketNext / Edit by @followTheGupta |Twitter.

The much-anticipated T20 contest between India and Bangladesh on Sunday has another opponent lurking around at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. It's the Delhi smog.

As the capital of India and its neighbouring areas breached the 999 mark on the Air Quality Index (AQI) scale, the residents of Delhi-NCR are literally gasping for air.

With schools shut, the Supreme Court of India declaring Delhi's toxic air a public health emergency and the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal calling the city a "gas chamber", it's safe to say things aren't looking pretty for Delhi. In fact, the top three trending hashtags on Indian Twitter on a lazy Sunday were rather serious: #DelhiAirEmergency, #DelhiPollution, and #DelhiBachao.

Amidst the conversation about public health and safety progressed through the day, worrying and unflattering photos from the first T20 match venue -- Arun Jaitley Stadium (previously Feroz Shah Kotla) -- between India and the tourists Bangladesh hit social media, leaving fans severely concerned.

That there is still a match scheduled despite the hazardous conditions in Delhi left fans baffled. In a cricket-loving country that witnesses packed stadiums, the attendees, along with the cricket teams, too were at risk of being exposed to toxic pollutants in the capital city.

Others simply called for abandoning of the match.

The light showers on Saturday added to the woes of Delhi as the smog turned from bad to worse and now the District Cricket Association (DDCA) and groundsmen are hoping for the thick blanket to subside just in time for the match.

"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," a senior DDCA official told IANS.

The official also said that they were hopeless in situations such as these and prayed that the match took place as scheduled at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

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