India vs Bangladesh first T20I match will be held according to schedule at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi despite deteriorating air quality concerns post-Diwali.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday hoped that pollution will not be a deterrent for the contest and said that the game must go on and his government has taken steps to improve the air quality.
"I hope that pollution will not come in the way of cricket. To reduce pollution, we are also implementing the odd-even scheme from November 4," Kejriwal told reporters at the Delhi Secretariat after air quality levels plummeted to the "severe" category for the first time this season.
"I have seen that in this season, matches have been played earlier as well. The match should be played in Delhi," he added.
According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), on Monday morning, the most polluted locations post-Diwali are Delhi University (North Campus), Pusa, Rohini-Punjabi Bagh, Wazirpur, Jahangirpuri, DTU, and Bawana.
Earlier, on December 2017, the Sri Lankan cricket team was left gasping for breath during a Test match at the same venue, then named Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, forcing most of their players to wear protective masks even though some fell ill.
"Look, we have factored in the post-Diwali air pollution in Delhi but since the match is a week away, we are hopeful that the players won't face any health hazards," a senior BCCI official told PTI last week. The official, however, acknowledged there are practical concerns.
Meanwhile, the rotation policy followed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the travel route for the visiting team forced the BCCI to schedule the first match of the tour in Delhi, and they now hope the city's poor air quality doesn't become an issue during the night-time game.