New Delhi: Players continue to struggle on Day 4 of the third and final Test match at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla stadium due to ‘severe’ polluted conditions and smog. Sri Lanka paceman Suranga Lakmal was once again seen in strife, when India’s second innings was into its sixth over, Lakmal vomitted on the field. He was seen bending over and throwing up in middle of the game. The Sri Lankan physio rushed in and eventually walked off with the player. Even the right-arm seamer of India, Mohammed Shami threw up on field during the match today.
On Sunday also, Suranga Lakmal and his colleague Lahiru Gamage had walked off from the field due to discomfort and complaining breathlessness due to Air Pollution.
On Tuesday, several Sri Lankan players had their facemasks on, yet again. Their coach Nic Pothas has called Delhi’s air pollution a “unique” and “well-documented” problem.
These dramatic turn of events provoked criticism over the scheduling of match at the stadium amid pollution concerns. In the press meeting, the Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India said from now onwards it would factor in Delhi’s pollution before scheduling a match in the city at this time of the year.
This point about scheduling matches in Delhi in this particular period can be considered in view of the situation encountered in the last two-three days, said acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary.
Speaking to NDTV, about should test match have taken place given air quality in the city being at hazardous levels, Sunil Gavaskar, Former India captain and batsman, added,
The scheduling of a match is done couple of months before the actual date of the match, that time nobody knew what the condition was in the national capital region. If we were aware, obviously air pollution would have been factored in.
He further added,
If Sri Lankans were not comfortable playing in this polluted environment, it is a fair deal. Obviously health of the cricketers should be factored in. We, as Indians, might be more adaptive to polluted environment, but Sri Lankans are not, they come from an island.
According to the official figures, the Air Quality Index in the city on Tuesday morning dropped to 379, from Monday’s average of 390, on a scale of 0 – 500. But it is still on the higher side of “very poor” category.
The Green Court on Monday criticised the Delhi government for allowing the cricket Test match to go ahead and for the way they have handled air pollution in the city. For now, Delhi government has been given a strict deadline by the national green tribunal to present the action plan on steps taken to curb air pollution in the city within 48 hours (starting from Monday).
The Delhi government is yet to announce any measures to tackle the latest round of smog and rise in pollution.