Ranji Trophy: Delhi pollution forces Siddhesh Lad to bat with a maskhttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/ranji-trophy-delhi-pollution-smog-air-siddhesh-lad-5429211/

Ranji Trophy: Delhi pollution forces Siddhesh Lad to bat with a mask

Mumbai batsman Siddhesh Lad came on to bat at No. 4 for the 41-times Ranji Trophy champions wearing a mask due to the pollution in Delhi.

Siddhesh Lad plays with a facemask in the Ranji Trophy
Mumbai’s Siddesh Lad bats with a facemask during the first day of the Ranji Trophy match against Railways at the Karnail Singh Stadium in Delhi. (Express photo Amit Mehra)

For sportspersons plying their trade in the capital, the challenges exist beyond the opposition. The terrible air condition has seen players in the Indian Super League (ISL) and Ranji Trophy complain of the condition already. What’s the solution? A mask. Mumbai batsman Siddhesh Lad batted wearing a mask on the opening day of the Ranji Trophy season. The air quality in the capital had come under severe scrutiny during Sri Lanka’s tour of India with visiting players collapsing resulting in lengthy delays. The trend has continued this year as well.

On Wednesday, Mumbai coach Vinayak Samant said fast bowler Tushar Deshpande had been vomiting from the time he landed in Delhi for the contest against Railways. “Tushar is not feeling well. He has been vomiting and complaining of headache and fever since he arrived in Delhi. But he will be playing tomorrow’s game,” Samant said. Mumbai are playing Railways at the Karnail Singh Stadium.

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Last year, sporting calendar in the Delhi was disrupted during these months after the BCCI cancelled two Ranji Trophy matches due to conditions that were ‘unhealthy to play’. A few days later, FIFA excluded Delhi as a venue for the knockout round matches of the Under-17 World Cup due to the poor air quality.

In the Ranji Trophy opener, Mumbai won the toss and opted to bat. Lad came in to bat at No. 4 with the score reading 63/2.