As the first of this series and 1000th T20I overall is underway between India and Bangladesh at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in smog-wreathed Delhi, the sport of cricket has definitely prevailed as thousands of cricket fans denied pollution to stop them from viewing the match live. The shortest format of the game has been the most enthralling and entertaining one and no sorts of weather conditions, even 'hazardous,' could stop the fans from filling up the stands of the Arun Jaitley Stadium in the national capital.
While speaking to ANI a fan said, "Pollution is definitely a problem for Delhi, but it can never match the craze that fans have for cricket in this country. Hence, we are here and very much excited to enjoy the match. Ultimately, we are responsible for pollution because we are the ones adding to the pollution by using vehicles. The government, as well as the citizens, should work together to find a solution and get rid of pollution."
"People in India love the sport so much and there is much craze for the sport that despite the pollution in the city people have come to watch this match and the Delhi government should take note of this," said another fan. "We won't be able to enjoy that much. Throughout the match, we will be worried about our health. Family members have also asked to not go for the match but there is cricket fever and I want to watch the match. I was worried that the match might get cancelled," said another fan at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.
There have been innumerable pleas directed towards the cricketing board to shift the venue of the India-Bangladesh contest citing the issue of pollution and hazardous air quality, however, the BCCI has decided to go ahead with the same venue. When compared to a list of other sporting centres around the world that hosted games on Sunday, there was a stellar difference between them and Delhi. The Premier League game between Leicester City FC and Crystal Palace FC at Selhurst Park where the AQI is at 25. The Paris Masters finals between Novak Djokovic and Denis Shapovalov at the capital of France is being played amid AQI of 42 which translates as good air quality. The Moto GP in Malaysia was hosted amid an AQI of 71 which translates to moderate air quality. The F1 circuit held at Austin, Texas at the United States was hosted amid AQI level of 68 which also translates to moderate air quality. Therefore, when compared to Delhi, the rest of the sporting centres have hosted/will host games amid good or moderate air quality whereas Delhi will host India versus Bangladesh clash amid dangerous air quality, with a risk of serious health problems for the players.