Pollution stops play in India-Sri Lanka Test

Many of Sri Lanka's fielders returned from lunch on the second day of the Test against India wearing masks amid visible haze at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium.

Sri Lanka players wear masks in an attempt to protect themselves from air pollution during the second day of the third Test cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi.   -  AFP

The third Test between India and Sri Lanka was interrupted due to air pollution that compelled the Sri Lankan players to wear masks on the field at the Ferozeshah Kotla. Sri Lanka's players complained to the umpires about the conditions and forced a pause of 20 minutes.

Play resumed after the umpires had consulted the match referee, team doctors and physiotherapists.

The U.S. embassy website on Sunday showed levels of the smallest and most harmful airborne pollutants in Delhi at 328 — more than ten times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization.

A paramedic speaks to Sri Lanka's Lahiru Gamage after he complained of breathlessness.   -  AP

 

The air quality in Delhi has been critically poor this time of the year for two years in a row now. Last year, the federal government had declared it a crisis for the city-state. Despite a number of decisions taken to mitigate the pollution, including the introduction of an 'even-odd' scheme to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, the hazard evidently hasn't lessened.

This is not the first time cricket has been impacted by poor air quality in Delhi. Last year, two Ranji Trophy fixtures in the city had to be cancelled because of pollution.

The problem resurfaced this year; the city made headlines for its air's poor health indicators. Last month, more than 30,000 runners competed in the Delhi half-marathon, despite dire health warnings from doctors who called for the race to be postponed.

(with inputs from AFP)

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