Cricket World Cup 2023: Bangladesh elect to field against Sri Lanka amid Delhi air concerns

Both teams cancelled training session, and on Sunday, asthmatic Bangladesh cricketers remained indoors while Lankan players wore masks

By Reuters

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Sri Lanka's captain Kusal Mendis (L) and his Bangladesh counterpart Shakib Al Hasan (2L) during the toss before the start of the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match. Photo: AFP
Sri Lanka's captain Kusal Mendis (L) and his Bangladesh counterpart Shakib Al Hasan (2L) during the toss before the start of the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match. Photo: AFP

Published: Mon 6 Nov 2023, 12:38 PM

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and elected to field in their World Cup match against Sri Lanka, which got underway on Monday amid concerns about poor air quality in New Delhi.

The air quality index (AQI) near the Arun Jaitley Stadium read close to 400 on Monday noon, and it was 437 elsewhere in the city, triggering speculation that the match might get delayed if not cancelled altogether.

An AQI of 0-50 is considered good while anything between 400-500 affects healthy people and is considered a danger to those with existing diseases.

Both teams had cancelled a training session in the buildup, and on Sunday, asthmatic Bangladesh cricketers remained indoors while Sri Lankan players wore masks.

Organisers have installed air purifiers in the players' dressing rooms while water sprinklers were used to reduce pollutants in the air.

New Delhi has stood on top of a real-time list of the world's most polluted cities compiled by Swiss group, forcing the local government to extend the closure of primary schools until Nov. 10.

Sri Lanka, currently seventh in the points table and with only mathematical chances of making the last four, made two changes - bringing in Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Perera for Dimuth Karunaratne and Dushan Hemantha.

Following the team's poor performance in India, the entire cricket board was sacked and replaced with an interim committee earlier on Monday.

Bangladesh, who have already been eliminated, replaced an unfit Mustafizur Rahman with Tanzim Hasan.

Teams:

Bangladesh: Litton Das, Tanzid Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Towhid Hridoy, Taskin Ahmed, Tanzid Hasan, Shoriful Islam

Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (captain), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka

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