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ICC World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma expresses concern about playing in Mumbai as air quality worsens


ICC World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma expresses concern about playing in Mumbai as air quality worsens


Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma on November 1 “expressed concern” about playing in Mumbai amid the alarming air quality index (AQI) levels in the city, news agency PTI reported. 

“In an ideal world you do not want a situation like this but I am pretty sure that the concerned people are taking the necessary steps to avoid this kind of situation. It is not ideal and everyone knows that,” Sharma was quoted as saying on the eve of the match against Sri Lanka in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

Sharma’s statement comes a couple of days after the ace batter expressed shock on seeing the city’s polluted skyline from the flight that brought the team to Mumbai.

“Mumbai, yeh kya ho gaya (what has happened)?” Sharma on Instagram, as he shared visuals captured from the plane of smog engulfing the city.

Also Read: World Cup 2023 highest team scores: South Africa, Australia dominate, India not in top 5

Notably, Sharma is a native of Mumbai, and has played cricket across the city from an early age. He represented the Mumbai Ranji team throughout his domestic first-class career, and also leads the city-based franchise team of Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Over the past three weeks, Mumbai’s AQI has ranged from between 150 (moderate) to 411 (severe). At 8 pm on November 1, the AQI was measured at 208 (poor) at the Colaba observatory, as per the data shared by the Central Pollution Control Board.

Taking cognisance of reports related to the poor air quality in the city, the Bombay High Court has initiated a suo motu PIL. The Indian Express reported on October 31 that government bodies have been asked to list out their plan of action to address the issue.

The HC bench, led by Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya, has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to respond with the steps taken by them, the newspaper said.

Meanwhile, Sharma is not the first cricketer to express concern over Mumbai’s AQI amid the ongoing World Cup. Earlier, English batter Joe Root said that he felt like “eating air” in the city. 

“I’ve not played in anything like that before. I’ve obviously played in hotter conditions, and probably more humid conditions. But it just felt like you couldn’t get your breath. It was like you were eating the air. It was unique,” the Hindustan Times quoted Root as saying.

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Updated: 01 Nov 2023, 11:53 PM IST


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