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Delhi Pollution: Players seek masks, no play on Ranji Trophy’s Day 1

Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Ajay Shirke expressed helplessness over the situation.

Written by Vishal Menon | New Delhi | Updated: November 6, 2016 9:09 am
Bengal players with their masks on at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi. (Source: PTI) Bengal players with their masks on at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi. (Source: PTI)

Dense smog over the capital prevented two Ranji Trophy matches from beginning on Saturday. Visibility was an issue at both Feroz Shah Kotla, where Bengal were to face Gujarat, and at Karnail Singh Stadium, where Tripura were to play Hyderabad, Saturday through Tuesday. The Bengal team asked for anti-pollution masks after several players experienced breathing difficulties and burning sensation in the eyes.

“After the warm-ups in the morning, players complained of burning sensation in their eyes. I have never experienced such a situation before in Delhi. It is unprecedented. Obviously, visibility was also a concern because of the smog,” Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary said.

As a precaution, the Bengal squad did not venture out of the dressing room after the morning warm-up.

The Bengal captain and his Gujarat counterpart Parthiv Patel walked out for the toss at 11.30 am — two hours after the scheduled time for play to begin. But they, as well as the umpires umpires Krishnamachari Bharatan and Virender Sharma, decided that the conditions — the lack of visibility and the uneasiness felt by the players — were not conducive for cricket.

The umpires and match referee P Ranganathan conducted frequent inspections through the day. But the smog showed no signs of lifting. At 3.50 pm, with the conditions still gloomy, the first day’s play was called off without a ball being bowled. The Hyderabad-Tripura Group C match at Karnail Singh Stadium too met with a similar fate.
Gujarat captain Patel said the umpires and match officials did the right thing by abandoning play. “Nobody can be blamed for what happened today. These things are beyond anybody’s control. Visibility was an issue for both teams, and hence there was no point in starting play,” he said.

Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Ajay Shirke expressed helplessness over the situation.

“This is an environmental issue, so what can the BCCI do? Many years ago, a decision had been taken in the BCCI that matches wouldn’t be held in the North during the winter months. This was because of issues like smog and other environmental hazards. But for whatever reasons, the decision was not implemented. Today Ranji Trophy matches were affected due to smog. But what can we do? We have to treat this as something like a natural calamity.”

According to a board source, the match referees have been asked to submit reports, giving details of the situation.

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  1. P
    Nov 6, 2016 at 1:05 am
    Every December, lacs of Indian Christians adorn their house with Christmas trees, both real and not-so-real.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;That\'s a lot of trees. And it raises something of a dilemma for green-conscience do-gooders: Are Christmas trees bad for the environment? The answer is YES. It is bad for the environment. It is difficult to dispose. By growing Christmas trees on farms you waste water and use pesticide which is bad. Time to ban Christmas trees no real or fake.
    1. K
      Nov 6, 2016 at 4:26 am
      Thrilled! In a single word. We proved once again the most por evolutionary concept: "In the absence of a mechanism for evolution of cooperation (rule following), natural selection (the tendency for people to follow) always favours defection (violating rules)".lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Absolutely, one more time, the evolutionary concept has been proven right! If every ruler (Cong, BJP, AAP and some junk) care only for "vote" and play politics, not only Delhi but w country has to vacate! lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Keep it up India... We are proving science right...all the time.
      1. V
        Vivek narain
        Nov 5, 2016 at 9:41 pm
        The signs of times.
        1. R
          Nov 6, 2016 at 12:01 am
          A major test match should be banned for pollution like this. That only might just shake things up. Everyone thinks he has only contributed very little but all the everyone's just add up. Something drastic is needed for us to be more environmentally conscious.
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