Delhi T20I: Bangladesh players continue to train with masks as air quality worsens

Bangladesh’s cricket team on Saturday was seen practising at the Arun Jaitley Stadium wearing masks even as concerns over pollution continue to grow in the national capital.

This is the third day in a row that Bangladesh players have come out to train wearing masks.

Bangladesh and India are all set to play the first T20I of the three-match series here in Delhi on Sunday, November 3.

The air quality in Delhi continues to deteriorate and it slipped into the ‘severe plus ‘ category on Friday.

This has led many to urge the BCCI to shift the match from Delhi.On Friday when Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo was asked about the dipping air-quality levels in Delhi, he replied: “It is not too hot; it is not perfect with all the smog around. But it’s the same for both teams; it is not perfect, it is not ideal. But there’s nothing to complain about, we need to get on with it and make the best do’s we can. It is not ideal; it is not something you would want.”

“But there is nothing we can do about it. We have to make sure we prepare and deal with it. We have had little scratchy eyes and sore throat, but no one has been sick yet. We have to play three hours of the game, and we are having three hours practice session and probably this is the maximum amount of time you would want to spend in such a situation,” he added.

In 2017, the Sri Lankan cricket team struggled with pollution and their players were seen with masks during a Test match in Delhi.

“We know Sri Lanka struggled with it the last time. There’s a bit of pollution in Bangladesh as well so it is not a massive shock to the system. Players have dealt with it really well. We have to go about our business. I am not a medical doctor, I am just a coach. It is not ideal as your eyes and throat get sore,” Domingo said.

“It is what it is; you need to get on with it. It is difficult to move a game just two/three days prior to the match. We are not complaining. We do not know what it will be like when the lights are on. We have checked the forecasts for the coming days and it seems to be getting progressively better. So that is a plus. It hasn’t been great, but we are fine,” he added.Earlier, the BCCI President Sourav Ganguly confirmed the match will go on as planned in the national capital.

“We have spoken to Delhi authorities in the last two days. They are expecting the match to go through but it was already scheduled so we could not cancel it at the last minute. We came in on October 28 and it was too late to do anything because a lot of preparations go in matches; tickets, crowd, and everything. So it is not possible to cancel things in the last minute,” Ganguly had said.

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