There is an upcoming Test match in Delhi that is due to be played between India and Bangladesh in the imminent future. It’s the occasion where one expects hundreds of thousands to gather in large numbers at the famous Feroz Shah Kotla, newly rechristened as the Arun Jaitley Stadium.
But truth be told, there looms an air of concern over the Test match in Delhi. This is simply down to the fact that the horrendous air quality in the national capital of the country is posing a lingering threat about any cricketing certainty connected to this Test match in Delhi.
A little over a fortnight ago, the national media highlighted in clear detail the menacing threat of pollution, a scenario that was reported to worsen thanks to the neighbouring Punjab state burning the crop residue during this time.
Moreover, the impending Diwali festivities amplified by the burning of crackers and highlighted by the fact that much of the green cracker adoption was restricted to only a small cluster (in the city) didn’t exactly paint an optimistic picture about Delhi’s air quality. On top of that, the regular vehicular pollution and industrial emissions sort of darken an already worrying time in the year for the national capital.
We’ve seen in the past how an active Test match in Delhi has got really hampered all thanks to worsening air quality. Rewind the clocks back to the India and Sri Lanka Test during 2017 and one understands the concerns regarding the upcoming India and Bangladesh Test being hampered by poor air quality weren’t in any way, irrational or out of place.
But amid these times where the average cricket-loving fan is also perturbed as to whether or not a full five-day outing would happen in the heart of New Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has expressed his concern regarding Delhi’s pollution.
Shri Kejriwal expressed hope and batted for optimism regarding the impending Test match in Delhi stating he hoped that the play would not stop during a key five-day encounter between two of the popular cricketing forces at the international level.
He also stated that his government had taken steps to ensure that the air quality improves in the city.
Here are some candid views and thoughts of the Delhi CM, ” “I hope that pollution will not come in the way of cricket. To reduce pollution, we are also implementing the odd-even scheme from November 4,” Kejriwal told reporters at the Delhi Secretariat after air quality levels plummeted to the “severe” category for the first time this season.
“I have seen that in this season, matches have been played earlier as well. The match should be played in Delhi,” he added.
In the immediate aftermath of the festival of lights, it is reported that the areas that are worst affected in Delhi happen to be – Delhi University (North Campus), PUSA, Rohini-Punjabi Bagh, Jahangirpuri, Bawana and other regions.
Meanwhile, a senior BCCI official also expressed his views regarding the upcoming Test match in Delhi, “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.”
That said, it would be interesting to see how the two currently in-form sides fare as they lock horns and hopefully in an uninterrupted way in the key Test! Let’s hope that the players get to perform at the peak of their abilities and in the absence of pollution.