The Bangladesh cricket team was forced to cancel its training session ahead of the Cricket World Cup 2023 clash against Sri Lanka due to extreme levels of air pollution in New Delhi. Bangladesh, who have been eliminated from the World Cup, arrived here on Wednesday following the defeat against Pakistan in Kolkata. They were supposed to have their first training session on Friday evening but the team management decided against it considering the high pollution levels. Delhi’s air quality plummeted to the “severe plus” category on Friday even as the central government deferred the implementation of stricter measures under the air pollution control plan.
“Today we had a training session but the condition got bad from yesterday so we didn’t take the chance because we still have two more days for training.
“Many( cricketers) went out yesterday and now they are having some kind of coughing so there is a risk factor involved and so we cancelled the training so that they don’t get unwell,” said team director Khaled Mahmud at the team hotel.
The last of the five World Cup games allotted to Delhi is scheduled for November 6.
Sri Lanka, whose players had to wear masks to combat air pollution in Delhi back in 2017, had played their World Cup game against India in Mumbai on Thursday. The following day is usually the travel day and the team doesn’t train.
“We don’t know what the decision will be (whether we will have to play here or not in the present condition) and whether the weather will get better or not and if it gets better certainly it is good for us and if that is not the case (and still we have to play) we still have to adapt to it and have to train tomorrow,” said Mahmud.
“We still have two more days in our hand so we want the boys to be fully fit because these two games are very important for us,” he added, referring to the Champions Trophy qualification scenario.
The top seven teams in the ongoing World Cup and hosts Pakistan will get to compete in the 2025 Champions Trophy.
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-NCR.
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.
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