Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo on Friday (November 1) admitted that the prevailing smoggy conditions in Delhi are not perfect, however, he said ” no one is dying” as pollution is an issue in their country as well.
India is set to take on Bangladesh in the first T20 International at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in the national capital on November 3.
Domingo said getting exposed to poor air quality in India was not as big a shock for them as it is for some other countries.
In December 2017, players from Sri Lanka were seen fielding wearing masks. A similar situation was seen when Bangladesh players Al Amin, Abu Hider Rony and team’s spin consultant Daniel Vettori wore masks during their fielding session this morning.
“We know the Sri Lankans struggled last time and look there’s a bit of pollution in Bangladesh as well, so it’s a not a massive shock unlike some other countries. The players have just got on with the game and haven’t complained too much about it,” Domingo told reporters.
As the situation got better, the players removed their masks, except Vettori and other non-Bangladeshi support staff.
“It’s only three hours so it’s going to be easy. There maybe scratchy eyes, sore throat but that’s ok. No one is dying,” Domingo added.
The pollution levels in the Delhi-NCR region entered the “severe-plus” category” on Friday, propelling the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority to declare a public health emergency.
The Supreme Court-mandated panel also banned the bursting of crackers during the winter season apart from banning the construction activity till November 5.
On Thursday, Bangladesh batsman Liton Das briefly wore the mask during practice sessions but later said it was due to a personal health issue and not because of pollution.
Domingo admitted that the situation is not ideal and it’s the same for both teams.
“There’s no breeze but obviously not perfect weather with the smog. But it same for both teams. Not perfect, not ideal but you can’t complaint about and get on with the game,” the coach said.
When India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour’s response was sought on prevailing conditions, he said, “You are asking the wrong person. I have played all my cricket in North India (Punjab and Himachal Pradesh). Basically nothing special. There is pollution but a game has been scheduled and we have to play.”
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly made it clear on Thursday that match will not be cancelled at the last minute but promised practical scheduling in future, hinting that North India venues may not considered for matches post Diwali.
(With inputs from agencies)