New Delhi: The severity of air pollution anddense Smog cover in the capital today led to the cancellation of the Ranji Trophy encounter between Delhi and Gujarat at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on the second day itself.
Both Bengal and Gujarat teams will be leaving Delhi tomorrow for Kolkata and Ahmedabad respectively.
The situation is not expected to improve for a few more days which effectively ruled out any chance of play. Match referee P Ranganathan, in consultation with BCCI and the respective state associations, decided that there is no point in waiting for two more days.
“This is unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances. This cannot be considered as a match. So there is no question of sharing points,” match referee P Ranganathan told reporters after the match was called off.
It’s a first of its kind in Ranji Trophy where a match has been cancelled in its entirety due to prevailing pollution level in the national capital.
In fact, the uniqueness of the situation is the reason why BCCI is expected to reschedule the game. Normally teams get a point each when at least one innings of both teams are not completed.
“We are going back to Kolkata tomorrow morning. It’s unfortunate but it is nobody’s fault,” Bengal manager Sameer Dasgupta told PTI today.
Such has been the pollution level that match referee Ranganathan had instructed the players to remain inside the dressing room with many of them finding it difficult to spot anyone within 25 yards.
“Match referee advised players of both teams to remain within the confines of the dressing room. He told us that it will affect our health and we should take necessary precautions,” a senior member of the Bengal support staff said.
Players had complained of burning sensation in their eyes and breathing problems after warm-up yesterday.
The Bengal players were seen wearing anti-pollution masks as they left the venue.
Incidentally, Bengal are expected to come back to Delhi to play Madhya Pradesh at the Airforce ground in Palam in the second week of December. As of now, there is no threat to that match.
Meanwhile, at the other venue at Karnail Singh stadium where Hyderabad was playing Tripura, the second day’s play was called off. PTI
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