The much spoken about air pollution problems in Delhi has led to the Group A Ranji Trophy fixture involving Bengal to be cancelled.
By the neutral venue policy, the Ranji Trophy game between Bengal and Gujarat was scheduled to begin at the Feroz Shah Kotla on November 5, Saturday. But no play was possible on the first day and players were seen wearing breathing masks to keep away from the danger.
RP Singh who is playing for Gujarat posted a team photo on Twitter with a caption: “precaution is the best medicine”.
— R P Singh (@RpSingh99) November 6, 2016
The Bengal players were also seen wearing protective masks on Saturday.
As the conditions didn’t allow any play on Day 2, too, the match was declared to have been abandoned. The players were said to be complaining about breathing problems and eye irritation.
“The teams were informed around 3.15 in the afternoon that the match was called off,” Sairaj Bahutule, the Bengal coach, told ESPNcricinfo. “Our eyes were burning. Some of the guys had headaches. Pollution was at the highest level. This is the first time in my cricketing life I have come across such a scenario. We have not got any directives from the BCCI whether teams will share points or the match might be rescheduled.”
I haven’t seen anything like this: Manoj Tiwary
“Yesterday, in the afternoon, when light improved, we went out to toss. But the dust and pollution was so bad that our eyes started to water,” Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary said about the conditions.
“In consultation with both captains, it was decided that we’ll call off play. But today, when the same situation persisted, the match referees decided it was unsafe to even attempt to play. It was called off a little after 3pm. We’ve played a lot of cricket in the north, especially Delhi, in winter months in the past. But I haven’t seen anything like this.”
Another game at Delhi, Group C match at Karnail Singh Stadium between Tripura and Hyderabad was also affected by the conditions and the BCCI is contemplating rescheduling the two matches.
“The board is working towards rescheduling the game, although I’m not sure how that will be feasible at this stage. We played our first game only in the second round, so it’s now a challenge to fit the game in. But we’ve been told this won’t count as a match, neither will points be split,” said a concerned Tiwary.