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Abandoned Ranji Trophy matches to be rescheduled

The players complained of breathing problems and burning sensation in the eyes.

Delhi Kotla
Feroz Shah Kotla engulfed in smog (Image Credit: Twitter)

The worsening condition of Delhi's air pollution has forced cancellation of the first day's play in both the Ranji Trophy matches which were underway after players complained of irritation in eyes and breathing problems.

The matches which had to be called off were group A league encounter between Bengal and Gujarat at the Feroz Shah Kotla and also a group C match between Tripura and Hyderabad at Karnail Singh Stadium.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India will now reschedule these matches. 

"The Technical Committee of the BCCI recognised the extraordinary circumstances prevailing in New Delhi and decided to reschedule the Paytm Ranji Trophy 2016-17 fifth round matches between Hyderabad-Tripura and Gujarat-Bengal after the first two days of play were lost due to smog conditions in New Delhi," Ajay Shirke, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Honorary Secretary, said on Sunday in a statement.

"The Hyderabad-Tripura match was to be played at the Karnail Singh Stadium while the Ferozeshah Kotla ground was scheduled to host the Gujarat-Bengal match from November 5, 2016 onwards."

Delhi has been battling with smog ever since Diwali and there has been a blanket of smog hanging over the capital which has made breathing extremely difficult for the inhabitants.

Sairaj Bahutule, the Bengal coach said: "The players were complaining that they were having burning sensation in their eyes. It's bad out there."

The situation was so grim that Bengal fast bowler Ranadeb Bose had to wear a mask when he was bowling.

"The players also complained of breathing problems. If you stay out there for an hour, the air that you inhale will cause irreparable damage to the lungs," a DDCA official was quoted by the PTI.

Bengal skipper Manoj Tiwary too expressed reservations about playing in such bleak conditions and said that the players were sceptical even before the game started.

"This is the first time something like this happened in my career. You can't blame anyone. There is so much burning sensation in the eyes. After the toss, umpires asked both me and Parthiv and we both decided that we can't play. We have to take care of our health too," Tiwary said.

Match Referee P Ranganathan further added: "This is something no one can do anything about. We have informed BCCI about the situation. It's difficult to shift matches."

The toss was called off in the Tripura-Hyderabad game too. "The eyes were burning and the players were suffering from breathlessness. If the forecast is same for the next four days, it's going to be very tough here," Hyderabad coach Bharat Arun was quoted by the TOI.

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