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Air Pollution and Its Impact on the Cricket World Cup in India

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Air pollution is a growing concern, particularly in major cities around the world. New Delhi, the capital of India, is no exception. The city has been grappling with severe air pollution for years, and the situation has now cast a shadow over the highly anticipated cricket World Cup. In this article, we will explore the impact of air pollution on the tournament and discuss the measures being taken to address this pressing issue.

Air pollution sparks alarm, dims World Cup cheer in India

The Severity of Air Pollution in New Delhi

New Delhi is notorious for its poor air quality, especially during the winter months. On Thursday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in the Anand Vihar area of the city reached a staggering 415, indicating “severe” levels of pollution. Such high pollution levels can have detrimental effects on both healthy individuals and those with existing health conditions. To put this in perspective, an AQI between 0-50 is considered healthy.

Health Implications and Concerns

The deteriorating air quality in New Delhi has serious health implications, particularly for respiratory health. The spike in pollution levels during the winter months often leads to a surge in respiratory illnesses, prompting schools and factories to close. This poses a significant risk to the well-being of the general population, including the players and spectators participating in the cricket World Cup.

The Impact on the Cricket World Cup

The air pollution crisis in New Delhi has raised concerns about the well-being of the cricket players and the thousands of fans attending the matches. With AQI levels exceeding 400, New Delhi, along with Lahore in Pakistan, tops the list of the world’s most polluted cities, according to the Swiss group IQAir. Mumbai, another Indian city, also features among the 15 most polluted cities globally.

Measures Taken to Combat Pollution

Recognizing the severity of the situation, the New Delhi government has implemented several measures to combat pollution. The entry of diesel buses has been banned, and construction activities will be halted if the pollution persists. Additionally, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced a ban on firework displays during the remaining matches of the cricket World Cup as a measure to reduce pollution levels.

Concerns Raised by Players

Cricket players have expressed concerns about the toxic air in New Delhi. England’s Joe Root has complained of breathing difficulties during a game, highlighting the impact of pollution on athletic performance. India’s Rohit Sharma has also voiced his concerns, urging for changes to be made for the sake of “future generations.” These concerns underscore the gravity of the situation and the need for immediate action.

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The Economic Impact

The air pollution crisis in New Delhi has not only affected public health but also has economic implications. The cricket World Cup, a highly anticipated event, has been overshadowed by the pollution concerns. This has the potential to impact tourism, as fans may be hesitant to attend matches in a city with such severe air pollution. The overall economic impact of the pollution crisis is yet to be fully determined.

International Recognition of the Issue

The severity of the air pollution crisis in New Delhi has gained international recognition. With AQI levels above 400, the city has gained notoriety as one of the most polluted cities in the world. The heightened media coverage of the issue during the cricket World Cup has further brought attention to the urgent need for measures to combat air pollution in the city.


The air pollution crisis in New Delhi has raised serious concerns about public health and its impact on the cricket World Cup. The severe pollution levels have prompted the government and cricket authorities to take action to mitigate the situation. However, the long-term solution lies in sustained efforts to address the root causes of air pollution and implement effective measures to improve air quality. By prioritizing public health and environmental conservation, India can ensure a healthier future for its citizens and continue to host international events without compromising the well-being of participants and spectators.


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