After many Bangladeshi players chose to wear masks while practicing at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, it was the turn of Indian players to practice at the same venue this afternoon and surprisingly none of them wore one. Sources in BCCI told Republic TV that the Board did not want the matter to go out of control or "blown out of proportion" and so probably a message was sent to the team management not to exaggerate anything that will become a bad advertisement for Cricket in India, a charge strongly denied by the BCCI official.
"Delhi is the national capital and among the top 3 cricket playing cities of the nation. Any bad advertisement of DDCA and Delhi will send a wrong signal to the world and bad advertisement for BCCI & India," the sources told Republic TV on condition of anonymity.
The indication of no one would be wearing the masks was quite clear from the carefully chosen words of Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour during the press conference clearly undermining and underplaying Smog & pollution in Delhi when he said Smog was a distraction and those who have nothing else to do in life notice it. Rathore said: "Players have played the game in extreme hot and extreme cold. Once you are playing the game you don't notice all these things. It doesn't distract to players. If you are sitting outside doing nothing you notice all this."Yes, there is Pollution but we have to play as the game is scheduled. I have played my entire life in North India, yes the game is scheduled and we have to play. I understand there has been health advisory but if you here to play a game you are here to play. Once you are into a game you don't really notice these things. We have just arrived and it's just first day of practice," he added.
Rohit Sharma, captain for team India's T20 series against Bangladesh, on Thursday had said he would assess the pollution situation in Delhi closely ahead of the T20 match on Sunday. "I’ve just landed in Delhi, I haven’t had the time to asses the situation and as far as we know the match is scheduled for November 3rd and today is 30th. So have time to assess the situation," Rohit said when Republic TV asked him how he felt and assessed the situation after Bangladeshi players practiced wearing masks at Arun Jaitley Stadium on Thursday. On being asked again whether he & team India would also wear similar masks, he said a decision will be taken only after assessing the ground situation.