India vs Bangladesh: Delhi's toxic air pollution a concern ahead of the first T20I

India vs Bangladesh: Delhi’s toxic air pollution a concern ahead of the first T20I

Meanwhile, the senior Supreme Court advocate Maninder Singh has replaced former Indian cricketer, Gautam Gambhir as the government nominee in DDCA's executive committee.

Feroz Shah Kotla
Feroz Shah Kotla. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After a comprehensive route of the South Africans in the Test series, it is now time for Team India to host neighbour Bangladesh for a three-match T20I series followed by two Test matches. The first match will be played at the Arun Jaitley stadium (formerly Feroz Shah Kotla) in Delhi and the prevailing air pollution in the National Capital has become a cause of concern for the BCCI.

It is worth remembering that the last time an international match was played in Delhi during this time of the year, the Sri Lankan players had complained about the hazardous air and play had to be stopped multiple times. As per the Air Quality International standards, 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 is poor while 301-400 is considered as very poor.

Anything above 400 is considered severe. According to the available information, on Thursday at 8:30 AM, the AQI in the vicinity of Delhi University was 357. Acknowledging that air pollution is not something under their control, both the senior BCCI and DDCA officials are confident that since the match is being held, a week after Diwali, the situation will not be as bad as it was back in 2017.

“Look, we have factored in the post-Diwali air pollution in Delhi but since the match is a week away, we are hopeful that the players won’t face any health hazards,” a senior BCCI official said as quoted by Times Now.

The rotational policy led to the match being scheduled in Delhi

The rotational policy and the travel route followed by the BCCI forced the apex body to schedule the match in Delhi. But considering the hazardous air quality prevailing in the city, questions have galore as to why the BCCI didn’t do away with the rotational policy in this specific case.

“The travel itinerary has been chalked in such a manner that Bangladesh will directly arrive in Delhi and exit the country from Kolkata. We wanted to make the travelling convenient that it starts from North, goes to West (Nagpur, Rajkot, Indore) and finishes in the east (Kolkata),” the official further added.

One of the prime reasons for the decline in air quality during this time of the year is because of the stubble burning by the farmers of Haryana and Punjab. But, this year, the government has asked the farmers not to do so, especially between October 26-November 04, as informed by Environmental secretary CK Mishra.

“We have told Punjab and Haryana to completely stop stubble burning at least for the next few critical days. Next three weeks, especially days between October 26 to November 4, are critical and we are taking care,” Environment secretary C K Mishra told.

Meanwhile, former ASG and senior Supreme Court advocate Maninder Singh has replaced former Indian cricketer, Gautam Gambhir as the government nominee in Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA)’s executive committee. The former Indian cricketer who is now a Member of Parliament from East Delhi had to resign from the post as per the Lodha committee recommendations.

“Former ASG Maninder Singh is the government nominee and he attended the Executive committee (Apex Council) meeting on Thursday. During the meeting, secretary Vinod Tihara, who suspension was revoked by the court again got suspended.

This time he has been suspended as he used the DDCA letterhead to write to the BCCI’s electoral officer that he would attend the Board’s General Body meeting on October 23. While Tihara’s plea was rejected, the matter has been treated as violation of DDCA rules and hence he has again been suspended,” he further stated. The much-awaited Bangladesh tour of India starts on November 03.

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