Bangladesh 'have no choice' over playing in World Cup pollution
November 5, 2023 03:43 PM
Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha admitted Sunday his team has "no choice" but to play Sri Lanka in smog-choked New Delhi as their failed World Cup mission winds down.
The Indian capital -- which has a population of 30 million -- once again ranked as the world's most polluted city Sunday, according to monitoring firm IQAir.
Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have cancelled training sessions in the city in recent days.
"We were concerned. We are trying to minimise our exposure to the outdoors as much as possible. We need to practice but we have to be careful over the long-term effect of this condition," said Hathurusingha.
"The air quality is affecting both teams. It's not ideal, but we have no choice. We have to play in the conditions in front of us."
World Cup organisers have already banned firework shows at New Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium and at the Wankheded in Mumbai in an attempt not to exacerbate the problem.
In 2017, the Sri Lankan cricket team played a Test match against India in New Delhi wearing surgical masks due to the damaging levels of pollution.
"Some of the players didn't turn up for practice as they are asthmatic so they stayed indoors," added Hathurusingha on Sunday.
"Even for practice, we're very conscious. We train what we have to train, and go back into the dressing room. They don't spend time unless they're bowling or batting."
Bangladesh have just one win from seven games at the tournament and have been eliminated from semi-final contention.
Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions, have two wins but need a mathematical miracle if they are to squeeze into the last four.