The India Gate is barely visible in the Delhi smog © Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Two matches scheduled in Delhi during the next round of the Ranji Trophy from November 13 have been moved out of the city because of high levels of air pollution.
The Group B fixture between Assam and Odisha, originally scheduled at the Karnail Singh Stadium, was shifted to Hyderabad, while the Hyderabad-Services game in Group C was moved from the Feroz Shah Kotla to Mumbai.
The decision to shift the matches came after two fifth-round games in Delhi – between Gujarat and Bengal and between Hyderabad and Tripura – were cancelled without a ball bowled because of poor visibility and pollution. The BCCI had said both matches would be played after the league phase. With only seven days between the end of the league phase and the quarter-finals slated to begin on December 17, the scheduling of the knockouts is likely to be affected.
“We haven’t taken a decision on the knockouts yet .We are just waiting for this [the current round] to go through,” a BCCI official told ESPNcricinfo. “Based on [how] this [round goes], we will take a call. We will go one step at a time.” He also said there was no decision yet on whether the three matches in Delhi from November 21 to 25 would be moved out.
For over a week now, people in Delhi have suffered from a dense layer of smog, believed to be an after-effect of Diwali fireworks as well as the burning of paddy stubble in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana. During the previous round of games, players had complained of burning eyes and were seen wearing masks.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo