Arun Jaitely Stadium in Delhi© AFP

The Cricket World Cup 2023 match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka has been in jeopardy due to severe air pollution in Delhi. A thick layer of toxic haze had enveloped the national capital for a few days, forcing the two teams to cancel their training sesions at least once as the Air Quality Index (AQI) remained in the severe category. The International Cricket Council (ICC) had waited till the matchday to confirm whether the contest will go ahead. The global cricketing body, ahead of the match, decided to let the game happen as scheduled.

The ICC has now announced that the situation was assessed by a renowned Pulmonologist and the precautionary measures have been taken to host the match as per the schedule at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

“The BCCI engaged the services of renowned Pulmonologist Dr Randeep Guleria to assess the situation in Delhi ahead of Monday’s game and provide independent expert advice. Under Dr Guleria’s guidance, the venue team has been taking mitigating actions throughout the day including the implementation of water sprinklers around the premises and the installation of air purifiers in the dressing rooms and match officials areas. The AQI within the stadium was monitored throughout the day which has reduced to levels considered acceptable by Dr Guleria,” said ICC as quoted by Cricbuzz.

“The ICC will continue to work in collaboration with Dr Guleria, BCCI, DDCA, and the Delhi Government to monitor the air quality and to take all possible steps to mitigate the air quality concerns at the Arun Jaitley Stadium and the match remains scheduled to take place in Delhi on Monday,” he added.

The AQI in Delhi has been above 400-mark since Thursday and according to the Air Quality Early Warning System, it is likely to remain ‘severe’ till Tuesday.

On Sunday morning, the AQI stood at 457 according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Talking about the match, Bangladesh are already out of reckoning, while Sri Lanka’s semifinal hopes are hanging by a thread, depending more on mathematics and luck than performance.

Ranked ninth out of 10 teams, Bangladesh are playing for pride, while Sri Lanka are little better placed at seventh in the standings and will look to hold on to the position to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan.

(With PTI Inputs)

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