The unease in his voice was palpable as India skipper Rohit Sharma on Wednesday expressed deep concern about the vitiated air quality in Indian cities, saying the current situation is not ideal and it is important that future generations “get to live without fear”. As is the scenario every winter, a deadly mix of fog and smoke has adversely affected Mumbai and Delhi — the cities hosting World Cup matches. There are several factors contributing to the worsening air quality and BCCI swinging to action has announced that it won’t allow display of fireworks during the remaining World Cup games in Delhi and Mumbai.
“In an ideal world you do not want a situation like this but I am pretty sure that the concerned people are taking the necessary steps to avoid this kind of situation. It is not ideal and everyone knows that,” Rohit said on the eve of the match against Sri Lanka in the financial capital of the country.
Rohit, who has a five-year-old daughter, said the future generations deserve a clean environment.
“Looking at our future generations, your kids, my kid. Obviously it is important that they get to live without any fear. Every time I get to speak outside of cricket, or not discussing cricket I always talk about this. We have to look after our future generations,” the captain said.
Delhi’s air quality remained in the “very poor” category for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday with an air quality index (AQI) of 372.
The pollution situation has been alarming in Mumbai as well.
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday expressed concern over the “deteriorating” air quality index in Mumbai while taking suo motu (on its own) cognisance of the issue.
Sri Lanka are scheduled to travel to Delhi for their match against Bangladesh on November 6, while Mumbai will host two more league games, on November 2 and November 7, and the semifinal on November 15. In 2017, the Sri Lankan players were forced to wear masks while on field in New Delhi during the third match of the Test series. The then Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal had expressed concern and said his players were not comfortable on the field.
The Indian cricket Board has said that it is “sensitive to environmental concerns.” “I took up the matter formally with the ICC and there won’t be any fireworks display in Mumbai, which can add to the pollution level,” said BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.
“The Board is committed to combating environmental issues and will always place the interest of our fans and stakeholders at the forefront. The BCCI acknowledges the urgent concern surrounding air quality in both Mumbai and New Delhi.
“While we strive to host the ICC World Cup in a manner befitting the celebration of cricket, we remain steadfast in our commitment to prioritising the health and safety of all our stakeholders.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article