Another opponent lurking around at the Arun Jaitely Stadium, apart from the much-expected T20 contest between India and Bangladesh on Sunday, is the smog of Delhi.
When India’s capital and neighboring regions hit the 999 marks on the scale of the Air Quality Index (AQI), Delhi-NCR residents were practically gasping for air.
India’s Supreme Court also declared Delhi’s toxic air a public health emergency, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called the city a “gas chamber.”
Indeed, Indian Twitter’s top three hashtags on a lazy Sunday were rather serious: #DelhiAir Emergency, #DelhiPolution, and #DelhiBachao.
Throughout the day, worrying and unflattering photos from the first T20 match venue — Arun Jaitely Stadium (former Feroz Shah Kotla) – between India and Bangladesh’s tourists hit social media, leaving fans severely concerned.
Delhi: Latest visuals from outside Arun Jaitley Stadium. India will play Bangladesh in the first T20i match, later today. pic.twitter.com/KehNVZ1Zd1
— ANI (@ANI) November 3, 2019
Given the hazardous conditions in Delhi that there is still a match scheduled, left fans baffled. In a cricket-loving country where packed stadiums are witnessed, the attendants, along with the cricket teams, are also at the risk of exposure in the capital city due to toxic pollutants.
Flights diverted from delhi due to pollution and our cricket board still decides to host the T 20match in delhi- not caring about health of Delhiites who will be coming to witness the match- totally wrong-money is not everything @ArvindKejriwal @rjginnie
— Mukeshhkrips (@Mukeshhkrips1) November 3, 2019
Dyatlov XI vs Pripyat blasters
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) November 3, 2019
— Monica (@monicas004) November 3, 2019
Goodluck to the 40000+ people going to Feroz Shah Kotla tonight. Prayers. ⚰️
— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) November 3, 2019
— 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕤𝕥𝕠𝕣𝕪𝕋𝕖𝕝𝕝𝕖𝕣 (@chemingineer) November 3, 2019
— Humor Being🌈 (@followTheGupta) November 3, 2019
Wishing all the best to players of both the teams today in Kotla…I wish thr r no pollution ill effects on you all and all the fans in the stadium…tho i wished that match was shifted frm this venue…
— Samip Rajguru (@samiprajguru) November 3, 2019
— SuMiT BaTRA (@batrasumit01) November 3, 2019
— Kabira Speaking (@thatsharmaboy) November 3, 2019
Maybe a cricket match being cancelled will make people care about the pollution in Delhi!!!! https://t.co/bktP0IH5x2
— AB (@Abhisingh183) November 3, 2019
Others simply called for abandoning the match.
— Shayan Sumar (@ShayanSumar) November 3, 2019
They will be playing a T20 international match at Ferozeshah Kotla today. Hope they cancel it due to low visibility if not for poisonous air.
— Ankur Bhardwaj (@Bhayankur) November 3, 2019
— Sir Jadeja fan (@SirJadeja) November 3, 2019
Saturday’s light showers added to Delhi’s woes as smog turned from bad to worse and the District Cricket Association (DDCA) and groundsmen hoped the thick blanket would 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 said.
The official also said in situations like these, they were hopeless and prayed that the match would take place as scheduled at the Arun Jaitely Stadium.