Air pollution levels in New Delhi escalated to hazardous and visibility dropped significantly as a thick blanket of smog engulfed several parts of the city on Sunday morning.
Despite a thick blanket of smog shrouding New Delhi, the first T20 International between India and Bangladesh to be played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Sunday has not been called off yet, Board of Control for Cricket in India sources said.
"The match has not been called off yet. It is too early to decide as the match is at 7 pm," a BCCI source told ANI.
Due to low visibility, air traffic at Delhi Airport was also affected as of Sunday afternoon with over 32 flights being diverted.
Air pollution levels in the national capital escalated to hazardous and visibility dropped significantly as a thick blanket of smog engulfed several parts of the city on Sunday morning.
Notably, for the first time in this season, the Air Quality Index (AQI) docked as high as 625 at 10am IST in the morning despite light drizzle in the early hours.
Bangladesh players were also seen training with masks on the build-up for the match. The cricketers trained for three days straight with masks on.
On Friday, when Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo was asked about the situation in the national capital, he replied: "It is not too hot, it is not perfect with all the smog around. But it's the same for both teams, it is not perfect, it is not ideal. But there is nothing to complain about, we need to get on with it and make best do we can. It is not ideal, it is not something you would want.
"But there is nothing we can do about it. We have to make sure we prepare and deal with it. We have had little scratchy eyes and sore throat, but no one has been sick yet. We have to play three hours of the game, and we are having three hours practice session and probably this is the maximum amount of time you would want to spend in such a situation," he had added.
In 2017, the Sri Lankan cricket team struggled with the dipping air quality levels and their players were seen with masks on during a Test match in Delhi.
"We know Sri Lanka struggled with it the last time. There's a bit of pollution in Bangladesh as well so it is not a massive shock to the system. Players have dealt with it really well. We have to go about our business. I am not a medical doctor, I am just a coach. It is not ideal as your eyes and throat get sore," Domingo had said.
The first T20I of the three-match series in New Delhi is scheduled to start at 7pm IST.