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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

India vs Bangladesh: Gautam Gambhir has his say after environmentalists urge Sourav Ganguly to shift Delhi T20I

Despite alarming pollution level in the capital, the first match of three match series is set to go ahead as per schedule and the Gautam Gambhir has spoken out on the issue.

cricket Updated: Oct 31, 2019 12:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir.
File image of former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir expressed concerns regarding Delhi’s air quality ahead of the first T20I between India and Bangladesh at Arun Jaitley Stadium on Sunday. Despite alarming pollution level in the capital, the first match of three match series is set to go ahead as per schedule and the cricketer-turned-politician has now spoken out on the issue.

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“It is a far serious issue than having a game of cricket or any other sports matches happens in Delhi. For us I think people living in Delhi should be more concerned about the pollution levels rather than the cricket match that happens,” Gambhir told ANI.

“Not only athletes it’s also for the common man of Delhi as well. A match is a very small thing, I think we can say ok whether we want to shift the match or not,” he added.

Watch: Bangladesh team in Delhi for 1st T20 as concern over pollution peaks 

According to reports, Indian players could give hardcore outdoor training sessions a miss and spend more time at the gym owing to the Air Quality Index (AQI), which is not showing much signs of improvement in Delhi.

“That is a very small thing, ultimately its the entire Delhi which is suffering, from kids to old age people as well, so it’s our responsibility. I got to know that pollution is still better but a lot of credit goes to the people of Delhi but hard work still needs to made by Delhites,” he said.

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“So, I am not really bothered whether the match will happen or not. I hope it happens and it should happen, but again it’s the thing which is throughout the year that Delhi people face. It is far more concerning then match,” he added.

Gambhir’s statement comes a day after environmentalists had urged BCCI president Sourav Ganguly to shift the T20I out of Delhi.

“In the light of extreme pollution in Delhi, we would like to request you to consider shifting the venue for the first T20 outside of Delhi. Making our cricketers play a physically demanding sport for 3-4 hours in Delhi’s toxic air will end up doing more damage to our cricket team’s health in the long run,” Jyoti Pande of Care For Air and Ravina Raj Kohli of My Right To Breathe said in the letter.

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Care For Air and My Right To Breathe are clean air awareness and advocacy non-profit organisations.

“Thousands of innocent spectators at the venue will also be putting themselves at risk in order to watch the match in the prevailing situation,” they said.