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Delhi smog: BCCI reschedules Ranji Trophy matches

"The pollution is extreme here in Delhi and it was the same yesterday, we are facing difficulty in breathing so we are wearing masks as we have to play matches in the future and we don't want to die," a player said.
BCCI

In the wake of environmental crisis in Delhi, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Saturday that two Ranji Trophy matches in Delhi will be rescheduled following cancellation of play for the second consecutive day due to heavy smog cover in the capital.

Reportedly, the smog in the national capital has led to cancellation of play for the second straight day on day twp of Ranji Trophy matches with players complaining of irritation in eyes and breathing problems.

The matches which have been affected were group A league encounter between Bengal and Gujarat at the Feroz Shah Kotla and group C match at Karnail Singh Stadium between Tripura and Hyderabad.

“The Technical Committee of the BCCI recognised the extraordinary circumstances prevailing in delhi and decided to reschedule the Paytm Ranji Trophy 2016-17 fifth round matches between Hyderabad-Tripura and Gujarat-Bengal after the first two days of play were lost due to smog conditions in New Delhi,” the BCCI said in a release.

However, the board assured that new dates will be announced shortly. “The Hyderabad-Tripura match was to be played at the Karnail Singh Stadium while the Feroz Shah Kotla ground was scheduled to host the Gujarat-Bengal match from November 5, 2016 onwards.

“The revised venue and dates for the above matches which will be played after the league phase of Ranji trophy, will be announced shortly,” it added.

Since Diwali night, the national capital has been witnessing low visibility and poor air quality, which has led to multiple inspections but health of the players was paramount for the match officials.

It was noticed at the Karnail Singh Stadium, that players were wearing anti-pollution masks as they held their morning practice sessions but soon returned to the pavilion.

Former India leg-spinner MV Narasimha Rao, who is now director of Hyderabad Cricket Academy, told India Today, “Even yesterday our players did some stretching, catching and knocking exercises and they complained about irritation in their eyes and breathing difficulties. When we saw on TV news in the evening how dangerous the situation is, then we all wore masks. Out of 4 days 2 days have been lost and if it remains like this then it will turn out to be a dead match.”

Ins such situation, players also voiced their concerns saying, “The pollution is extreme here in Delhi and it was the same yesterday, we are facing difficulty in breathing so we are wearing masks as we have to play matches in the future and we don’t want to die.”

“We have five more matches and without the mask if we play then we may fall sick and it will not be good for our health,” added another cricketer.

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