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ICC World Cup: Bangladesh to face Sri Lanka at Arun Jaitley Stadium, in Delhi

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Bangladesh will face Sri Lanka in the ICC World Cup at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. As part of the World Cup 38 match, the match between these two teams will start today at 2.00 pm.

Face masks aren’t a new thing in Delhi, they have been around even before the COVID-19 times. Heavily polluted air has been an annually-recurring problem for a while now. On Sunday (November 5), with the Air Quality Index still in the ‘severe’ category, the Delhi Education Minister announced that primary schools in Delhi would remain shut till November 10. What then of the Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh match?

Responding to Cricbuzz, ICC’s official statement read: “The BCCI engaged the services of renowned Pulmonologist Dr Randeep Guleria to assess the situation in Delhi ahead of Monday’s game and provide independent expert advice. Under Dr Guleria’s guidance, the venue team has been taking mitigating actions throughout the day including the implementation of water sprinklers around the premises and the installation of air purifiers in the dressing rooms and match officials areas. The AQI within the stadium was monitored throughout the day which has reduced to levels considered acceptable by Dr Guleria.

“The ICC will continue to work in collaboration with Dr Guleria, BCCI, DDCA, and the Delhi Government to monitor the air quality and to take all possible steps to mitigate the air quality concerns at the Arun Jaitley Stadium and the match remains scheduled to take place in Delhi on Monday.”

According to the ICC playing conditions, if the umpires deem that the conditions ‘of ground, weather or light, or any other circumstances are dangerous or unreasonable, they shall immediately suspend play, or not allow play to start or to recommence. The decision as to whether conditions are so bad as to warrant such action is one for the umpires alone to make, following consultation with the ICC Match Referee’. In the case of tomorrow’s game too, Delhi’s pollution will be treated in the context of weather and the match referee will be the final authority in this matter. All eyes will be on Richie Richardson come Monday.

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka both cancelled a practice session each in the build-up to the game, although Shakib Al Hasan’s team did show up at the nets on Saturday. The members of the coaching staff all wore masks during the training as the players practised for about 2 and a half hours. On Sunday, however, only eight of the Bangladesh players turned up for practice as the team did not want to take any risk with those members who are asthmatic.

Delhi’s poor quality air isn’t a new thing for Sri Lanka either. Back in 2017, Sri Lankan players vomited and they even began a post-lunch session of a Test match against India sporting face masks on the field. “We had players coming off the field and vomiting. There were oxygen cylinders in the change room. It’s not normal for players to suffer in that way while playing the game,” Nic Pothas, the Sri Lanka coach then, had said. Pothas is now with the Bangladesh camp as an assistant coach and has shared his experiences. Sri Lanka eventually practised on Sunday, with the support staff all masked up.

Coming to the match itself, Sri Lanka are almost single-footed skating on thin ice. While they can still go to eight points if they win their remaining two games, the drubbing they received at the hands of India in their previous game – a 302-run hammering after being bowled out for 55 – has left them with too much catching up to do in terms of net run rate. Bangladesh, meanwhile, were the first team to be knocked out of the semifinals race. So this match essentially serves as the battle ground for the teams to avoid finishing at the bottom two spots and make the cut for the Champions Trophy.

Squads:

Sri Lanka Squad: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis(w/c), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dushan Hemantha, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Perera, Chamika Karunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Dunith Wellalage

Bangladesh Squad: Tanzid Hasan, Litton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan(c), Towhid Hridoy, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Mahedi Hasan, Hasan Mahmud, Tanzim Hasan Sakib

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