It has been a busy few days for India’s premier batsman and skipper in the Test format Virat Kohli, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Saturday with his national teammates and later with his girlfriend Anushka Sharma at Rajkot where India’s five-match Test series against England kicks off on Wednesday.
Preparations are in full swing for Team India who will be looking to continue their dominance on home turf having beaten New Zealand convincingly 3-0 last time out in the longer format of the game. Kohli himself has been in fine touch throughout the year and despite the challenge that awaits him against Alastair Cook’s side, the pollution menace in his home city of New Delhi has not escaped his attention.
While the quality of air in India's capital city has always been a matter of concern, the situation has taken a turn for the worse after the Diwali celebrations, coupled with the burning of crops in neighbouring states like Haryana as well as the ever-increasing number of vehicles that ply the roads daily, which has created a dense cover of smog that has disrupted normal life.
Schools have been forced to shut down with visibility also a major concern. The sporting world has also been affected with the Ranji Trophy match between Gujarat and Bengal which was scheduled to be held at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium as well as the contest between Haryana and Tripura which was to be played at the Karnail Singh stadium forced to be cancelled due to the severe levels of air pollution.
Though Kohli’s connection with his hometown might have dwindled with his association with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, the Indian Test skipper is as much concerned about the alarming pollution situation as much as any Delhiite and urged them to do their bit to contain the menace through a series of messages on Twitter.
“Kids are going to suffer from diseases. So look after your families, look after your children whose future really depends on how we act in the current situation and make it better for them. It is my humble request to act in a responsible manner, be aware, and please don’t do things that are harming the environment even more. Let’s get together, Delhiites, and start making a difference, because it’s very very important,” urged Kohli.