Delhi Smog: Two Ranji matches cancelled due to air pollution

The severity of air pollution and dense Smog cover in the capital today led to the cancellation of the two Ranji Trophy encounters --- Bengal and Gujarat at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium and Hyderabad vs Tripura at the Karnail Singh Stadium.
Bengal Captain Manoj Tiwary (Right) and Wicket-keeper Shreevats Goswami (Centre) Pragyan Ojha (left)
Bengal Captain Manoj Tiwary (Right) and Wicket-keeper Shreevats Goswami (Centre) Pragyan Ojha (left)

New Delhi

While Gujarat team will be leaving Delhi tomorrow for Ahmedabad, Bengal team will be staying back till Tuesday before flying off to Rajkot for the next game against Tamil Nadu.
The BCCI in a media release stated that both matches will be rescheduled.
"The Technical Committee of the BCCI recognised the extraordinary circumstances prevailing in Delhi and decided to re-schedule 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.
"The revised venue and dates for the above matches which will be played after the league phase of Ranji trophy, will be announced shortly."
The situation was not expected to improve for a few more days which effectively ruled out any chance of play. Match referee P Ranganathan, in consultation with BCCI and the respective state associations, decided that there is no point in waiting for two more days.
"This is unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances. This cannot be considered as a match. So there is no question of sharing points," match referee P Ranganathan told reporters after the match was called off. It's a first of its kind in Ranji Trophy where a match has been cancelled in its entirety due to prevailing pollution level in the national capital.
In fact, the uniqueness of the situation is the reason why BCCI is expected to reschedule the game. Normally teams get a point each when at least one innings of both teams are not completed.
"We are going back to Kolkata tomorrow morning. It's unfortunate but it is nobody's fault," Bengal manager Sameer Dasgupta told PTI today.
Such has been the pollution level that match referee Ranganathan had instructed the players to remain inside the dressing room with many of them finding it difficult to spot anyone within 25 yards.
"Match referee advised players of both teams to remain within the confines of the dressing room. He told us that it will affect our health and we should take necessary precautions," a senior member of the Bengal support staff said.
Players had complained of burning sensation in their eyes and breathing problems after warm-up yesterday.
The Bengal players were seen wearing anti-pollution masks as they left the venue.
Incidentally, Bengal are expected to come back to Delhi to play Madhya Pradesh at the Airforce ground in Palam in the second week of December. As of now, there is no threat to that match.

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