Environmentalists wrote to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday, requesting him to consider moving the first India-Bangladesh T20 outside Delhi as the rapidly deteriorating air quality could prove a health risk for the players and thousands of spectators.

The rapid spike in the pollution level after Diwali has become a cause for concern ahead of the international match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on November 3.

Care For Air and My Right To Breathe are clean air awareness and advocacy non-profit organisations.

“Thousands of innocent spectators at the venue will also be putting themselves at risk in order to watch the match in the prevailing situation.” they said.

The environmentalists said outdoor aerobic activities raise the respiration rate of the human body, thus depositing even higher levels of toxins into our lungs and organs.

“This puts our sportspersons at even greater risk when they play outdoors. Any match played outdoors harms the health and very lives of the players and it is irresponsible to schedule such sporting activities during times of such toxic air quality.” they said.

On Monday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had hoped pollution will not affect the T20 match, emphasising that his government has been taking steps such as the odd-even scheme to improve the air quality.

A day later, a smoky haze turned Delhi’s skies grey as the air quality dropped further and entered the second-worst “severe” category. At 6.45 pm, Delhi’s overall AQI stood at 410, while the situation was worse in the satellite towns of Ghaziabad, Greater Noida and Noida.