- Bangladesh cancel practice session in Delhi due to severe air pollution ahead of crucial match against Sri Lanka.
- Air quality in Delhi has raised health concerns, with residents experiencing respiratory issues.
- Khaled Mahmud reflects on Bangladesh’s World Cup campaign and calls for a post-tournament analysis.
Bangladesh’s cricket team director, Khaled Mahmud, announced the cancellation of their scheduled practice session in Delhi due to the hazardous air quality that has reached ‘severe’ levels in the Indian capital. This decision raises concerns about their upcoming match against Sri Lanka at the Arun Jaitley Cricket Stadium, scheduled for November 6.
Bangladesh’s campaign in the tournament has been marred by six consecutive losses following their single victory against Afghanistan. Their participation in the Champions Trophy is at stake, making their remaining matches crucial. However, the team management decided to cancel the practice session after several players complained of respiratory issues following an outing on November 2.
Delhi’s air quality has deteriorated significantly, with the highest Air Quality Index (498) recorded in Mundka. Health experts have reported a rise in respiratory problems among the city’s residents, with many experiencing eye irritation, throat discomfort, and breathing difficulties. The use of masks has become common to protect against the polluted air.
Khaled Mahmud explained the decision, stating that many players experienced coughing after being outdoors, posing a risk to their health. The team has two more days for training before the crucial match, and they aim to ensure the players’ fitness.
Mahmud also reflected on Bangladesh’s disappointing campaign, suggesting that preparing for the World Cup with matches against New Zealand in Chattogram or Sylhet, rather than Dhaka, might have been more beneficial. The sporting wickets in India posed challenges for the team, and he believed that practicing on wickets similar to those in India would have been a better strategy.
Regarding the role of team director, Mahmud expressed dissatisfaction, indicating that he misses being directly involved in coaching. He highlighted the need for a post-mortem analysis following the World Cup, acknowledging the criticism of head coach Chandika Hathurusingha’s tactics, particularly the frequent changes in the batting order.
Mahmud noted that while it’s too early to determine Hathurusingha’s fate, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) would make decisions post-tournament. He emphasized the importance of assessing the team’s performance and learning from their struggles during the competition. Bangladesh entered the World Cup with high hopes but currently find themselves in the lower positions on the points table.
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