Residents of Delhi should be more concerned about pollution levels rather than hosting a cricket match, said Gautam Gambir on Wednesday as smog enveloped the national capital region. "It is a far serious issue than having a game of cricket or any other sports matches happens in Delhi. For us I think people living in Delhi should be more concerned about the pollution levels rather than the cricket match that happens," Gambhir told ANI. "Not only athletes it's also for the common man of Delhi as well. A match is a very small thing, I think we can say ok whether we want to shift the match or not," he added.
The first T20I between India and Bangladesh is scheduled to be played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on November 3 despite the alarming air pollution level.
"That is a very small thing, ultimately its the entire Delhi which is suffering, from kids to old age people as well, so it's our responsibility. I got to know that pollution is still better but a lot of credit goes to the people of Delhi but hard work still needs to made by Delhites," the cricketer-turned-politician said.
"So, I am not really bothered whether the match will happen or not. I hope it happens and it should happen, but again it's the thing which is throughout the year that Delhi people face. It is far more concerning then match," he added.
When asked about what Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should plan when it comes to deciding match venue, Gambhir said: "Probably yes, probably you want to play in an environment which is suitable for everyone and players as well. If the pollution levels are really high then obviously you can think of having an alternate venue but for me, as I just maintained and what I have just said."
Gambhir further added that Delhi pollution level is better than the past six years on Diwali and credit needs to be given to Delhites.
"It''s been better since last 6 years and probably this is the least level of pollution we have after Diwali. I think credit needs to go to the people of Delhi but still lot of efforts needs to be made." Gambhir said.
"Obviously the Delhi government is claiming that they have done a lot of work but ultimately its people of Delhi who had that awareness not to burn crackers but a lot of efforts have to be done rather than all this gimmick of advertisement and taking credit of what people of Delhi have done," he added.
Gambhir also added that the government should create awareness for curbing the high air pollution level.
"I think we should still try and create as much awareness as we can and get the pollution levels down because it''s still in a very poor category so I feel a lot of efforts needs to be made," Gambhir said.
When asked about what steps should be taken to prevent pollution Gautam said: "Absolutely serious steps should be taken. For me, the most important steps are not advertising on Twitter and not taking credit but what we do on the ground level as well. I don''t remember what the Delhi government has done in the last four and a half years."
"I feel the central government is very serious in getting the pollution level down and plus stubble burning needs to be curbed as well. So, I think the central government is doing all the best what they can to curb down the pollution level but I think and feel Delhi government still needs to pull up their socks," he added.