You get down at the Indira Gandhi international airport in Delhi early in the morning and get out of the closed chamber into fresh air….. oh wait! Where is fresh air? You can hardly see the cab which you have booked even though it is just a few metres away. You can hardly see the top of of the building beside you. Then you remember, you have just come to Delhi, quite ironically, “to see” India play Bangladesh at the Arun Jaitley stadium!
The city of Delhi has officially declared a public health emergency. The schools in the city were told to shut till November 5. The Air Quality Index (AQI), which is considered to be severe for human health when more than 300, was touching 500. Yet, Bangladesh will have to play India on Sunday.
The number of players wearing masks in practice was going up. Even the home side had asked for an optional practice session ahead of the match. The players, directly or indirectly, were complaining about the air in Delhi. Yet, Bangladesh will have to play India on Sunday.
“Halat toh bohot kharab hai Delhi mein, no doubt,” a resident of Delhi said on the eve of the first T20 International (No doubt, the situation in Delhi is very bad). And there is no doubt he is not the only one in Delhi saying that. Yet, Bangladesh will have to play India on Sunday.
And the fact that needs to be considered first is that BCCI cannot play the ignorance card- either of not knowing the date of Diwali in 2019 or the situation around the National Capital Region after the festival every year. Yet, why is it that Bangladesh will have to play India on Sunday in the first place?
The last time- it was received with boos, criticised as “stalling the game,” and was put out as “unnecessary fuss.” Social media had found out an incident that they could troll.
But this time, probably the only positive to take from happenings before the match taking place, is Ganguly’s statement about the untimeliness of the match. “In future, when we schedule, especially in the northern part of India during the winter, we will have to be a little bit more practical,” Ganguly had said. It is so much unlike the BCCI president on the last occasion against Sri Lanka, who had criticised Sri Lanka for making a “fuss” out of the situation.
This has certainly augmented the good feel of Ganguly being the president of BCCI. Since coming in, he has made a number of decisions that made one feel that cricket in India has been entrusted to the right person. It might still be too early to jump to conclusions, but a speculation, if it needs to be done at this moment, has certainly a lot of positives.