According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI was 457 on Sunday morning.
The severe air pollution in the national capital has cast doubt on the World Cup match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which is set to take place here on Monday. The national capital has once again been engulfed in a thick blanket of hazardous haze, causing the two teams to cancel their training at least once as the Air Quality Index (AQI) remained in the severe category.
While Sri Lanka chose to stay indoors on Saturday, Bangladesh faced the elements to train at the Feroz Shah Kotla yesterday night, wearing masks. Due to poor air quality, the ‘Tigers’ cancelled their first training session on Friday.
The AQI has been above 400 on a scale of 500 since Thursday, and according to the Air Quality Early Warning System, it is expected to remain’severe’ until Tuesday.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI on Sunday morning was 457.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has stated unequivocally that a decision on the match’s future would be made only on game day, when match officials analyse the air quality on Monday.
Article 2.8 of the ICC’s playing rules states: “If at any time the umpires together agree that the conditions of ground, weather or light, or any other circumstances are dangerous or unreasonable, they shall immediately suspend play, or not allow play to start or to recommence.” “The decision as to whether conditions are so bad as to warrant such action is one for the umpires alone to make, following consultation with the ICC Match Referee.”
Both teams are no strangers to such situations, with Sri Lankan players wearing masks during a Test series in 2017 and Bangladesh cricketers wearing masks during a T20 in 2019.
Due to the hazardous conditions, a number of Sri Lankan players experienced respiratory troubles, and some even vomited in the locker room.
Bangladesh are already out, and Sri Lanka’s semifinal prospects are dangling by a thread, relying on mathematics and luck rather than performance.
Bangladesh is ranked ninth out of ten teams and is fighting for pride, while Sri Lanka is ranked seventh and will try to maintain their position in order to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy in Pakistan.
Sri Lanka has a dominating 42-9 record against Bangladesh in 53 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), but the Tigers defeated the Islanders in the World Cup warm-up game and will draw inspiration from that victory.
Sri Lanka enters the game following a nightmare against Indian pacers, who bowled them out for 55 in a 302-run thumping, and Kusal Mendis and his guys will have to pick themselves up swiftly against an equally hurt Tigers.
While injuries have been a factor, Lankan players have also struggled against high-quality opponents, and Bangladesh will need to put on a show to exploit their weakness.
Sadeera Samarawickrama has been the standout performer for the Lankans, who have been well served by Pathum Nissanka and skipper Kusal Mendis in their batting at times but have lacked consistency.
Lankan pacers have also been inconsistent, while a lack of significant spinners has harmed the team.
Bangladesh has had a disappointing campaign, with only one win over Afghanistan.
After a hectic build-up and a lack of form from their players, they suffered their sixth consecutive loss and became the first team to be eliminated from the World Cup following a defeat to Pakistan in their penultimate game.
Their hitters have been unable to form partnerships, and their spinners have been unable to stem the run flow or take wickets, leaving even skipper Shakib Al Hasan stumped.