Bangladesh, who will play Sri Lanka in a World Cup match on Monday (November 6), had to cancel their practice on Friday due to the high pollution levels.
Many of the areas in Delhi witnessed AQI levels rising to over 400 on Friday with ITO, close to the Arun Jaitley Stadium, the venue of the match and practice, also having pollution levels reaching severe and unhealthy categories.
“We actually had a training session today but due to worsening conditions, we didn’t take a chance. We have two more training days. Some of us developed coughing so there’s a risk factor. We don’t want to get sick,” said Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud in a press conference held on the streetside outside the Le Meridien Hotel.
“We don’t know if things will improve but we have a training session tomorrow. We want all the players to be fit for the important game coming up on November 6,” added Mahmud, who himself was coughing due to pollution during the meet.
Bangladesh are lying in ninth position on the points table and have already been eliminated from the semi-finals race.
“We didn’t expect such results but we still have two World Cup matches coming up. We need to stay in contention for Champions Trophy (where top seven besides host Pakistan participate). That’s all there is for us. We have wanted to do well in every game but we haven’t got a proper answer to the question of why the team isn’t playing well,” he said further.
Mahmud blamed the team, especially skipper Shakib al Hasan.
“I don’t know why this team that was doing well, is having such problems. In my estimation, we haven’t played to even 25-30% of our potential. We haven’t played as a team… Shakib hasn’t performed at even 10% of his ability. He knows it. That’s why he went to Dhaka for training,” added Mahmud.