Rohit expresses worry about poor air quality in Mumbai ahead of IND vs SL match | Cricket

Team India faces Sri Lanka in a key 2023 World Cup group match on Thursday; India are on an unbeaten run in the tournament so far – winning all of their six matches – and the odds remain heavily stacked against Sri Lanka as they meet in Mumbai, the same venue that played host to the 2011 World Cup final between the two teams. The islanders have won two of their six matches and face a must-win clash against the hosts at the Wankhede Stadium.

Rohit Sharma looks on during a practice session on the eve of their 2023 ICC World Cup match against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium(AFP)
Rohit Sharma looks on during a practice session on the eve of their 2023 ICC World Cup match against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium(AFP)

However, ahead of the clash, the venue has drawn significant attention for the wrong reasons. As is the scenario every winter, a deadly mix of fog and smoke has adversely affected Mumbai and Delhi — the cities hosting World Cup matches. There are several factors contributing to the worsening air quality and BCCI, swinging to action, has announced that it won’t allow display of fireworks during the remaining World Cup games in Delhi and Mumbai.

And the unease in his voice was palpable as India skipper Rohit Sharma expressed deep concern about the depleting air quality in Indian cities, saying the current situation is not ideal and it is important that future generations “get to live without fear”.

“In an ideal world you do not want a situation like this but I am pretty sure that the concerned people are taking the necessary steps to avoid this kind of situation. It is not ideal and everyone knows that,” Rohit said on the eve of the match against Sri Lanka.

Rohit, who has a five-year-old daughter, said the future generations deserve a clean environment. “Looking at our future generations, your kids, my kid. Obviously it is important that they get to live without any fear. Every time I get to speak outside of cricket, or not discussing cricket I always talk about this. We have to look after our future generations,” the captain said.

Delhi’s air quality remained in the “very poor” category for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday with an air quality index (AQI) of 372.

The pollution situation has been alarming in Mumbai as well.

The BCCI has said that it is “sensitive to environmental concerns.”

“I took up the matter formally with the ICC and there won’t be any fireworks display in Mumbai, which can add to the pollution level,” said BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.

“The Board is committed to combating environmental issues and will always place the interest of our fans and stakeholders at the forefront. The BCCI acknowledges the urgent concern surrounding air quality in both Mumbai and New Delhi.

“While we strive to host the ICC World Cup in a manner befitting the celebration of cricket, we remain steadfast in our commitment to prioritising the health and safety of all our stakeholders.”

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