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POST TIME: 1 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Tigers train brave poor air quality ahead of 1st T20I
Saurav confirms match will be held at Kotla Stadium
India Today, New Delhi

Tigers train brave poor air quality ahead of 1st T20I

Bangladesh batsman-wicketkeeper Liton Das wears a pollution mask while taking part in a training session at Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi yesterday ahead of first T20I against India. Internet photo

Even as the air quality in Delhi is hovering around ‘hazardous’ levels after Diwali celebration in the city, India and Bangladesh cricketers are gearing up for the 1st T20I of a 3-match series at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. The Bangladesh senior national team arrived in India on Wednesday and had their 1st training session at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Thursday morning. The 1st T20I between India and Bangladesh will be played in Delhi on Sunday, November 3.

With the air in Delhi turning 'severe' during Diwali on Sunday, there were questions asked if there would be a change to the venue of the opening T20I but BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has confirmed the match will not be moved out of the city. As it turned out, Bangladesh's wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das was spotted training with a pollution mask during a practice session on Thursday morning in Delhi.

It was earlier reported that Rohit Sharma-led Team India is planning to train indoors in the lead-up to the 1st T20I. India are expected to train between 2 pm and 5 pm on November 1 and November 2 but both those sessions could turn into optional. “The match shouldn't be a major problem as it is a night match, but the issue is the training (set for the mornings) and you could see optional training sessions on both the days if the weather doesn't improve. This isn't a fresh season and the players have already been playing so some gym sessions should be enough to get them up and running after the Diwali break,” a BCCI source told IANS.

Notably, Sri Lankan cricketers were uncomfortable during a Test match held in December in Delhi in 2017. Some of them even wore pollution masks during the Test and often had to be attended by doctors on-field. Meanwhile, former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi expressed his reservations about hosting the opening T20I between India and Bangladesh in New Delhi due to the severe pollution levels.

Cricketer-turned politician Gautam Gambhir also echoed similar concerns, saying Delhi shouldn't host any sporting event until the pollution levels are brought under control. “No match or sporting event is bigger than the people of Delhi. I do not think any match should happen here in Delhi until the pollution level comes under control. The biggest issue that is bothering the Delhites is about pollution," Gambhir told ANI.