Like rain and light, make pollution a factor: Medical body slams BCCI
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Like rain and light, make pollution a factor: Medical body slams BCCI

The third Test in Delhi between India and Sri Lanka made headlines for the wrong reasons. Delhi’s polluted air forced the Lankans to wear masks during the Feroze Shah Kotla match. Players of both teams fell sick too.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Dec 07, 2017 12:38 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
India vs Sri Lanka,Delhi pollution,BCCI
A Sri Lankan player, wearing a face mask, stands at the Feroz Shah Kotla during the third India vs Sri Lanka Test that ended in a draw on December 6, 2017. Delhi’s air pollution marred the match that ended in a draw.(REUTERS)

The Indian Medical Association has urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to consider atmospheric pollution as a factor while determining suitable playing conditions for a certain venue after Sri Lankan players complained of the air quality at the national capital.

The third Test saw play being halted on several occasions with players like Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Gamage even throwing up on the field with the former even walking off it after bowling five deliveries in the 127th over of the Indian first innings.

While it had stirred a debate between experts and fans of both the nations if the visitors had been overreacting, Mohammad Shami, too, threw up later in the Test. While many slammed the concerned governments and the associations over not taking adequate measures to curb the menace, the IMA’s jibe comes as a fresh one for the BCCI.

Mohammad Shami, right, shines the ball as he walks with Ishant Sharma during the second day of the third cricket Test match in New Delhi, Dec. 3, 2017. (AP)

Greatly troubled about the recent cricket match between India and Sri Lanka in Delhi played under conditions of high levels of air pollution,” ANI quoted IMA as stating on their official Twitter account.

“Air pollution also reduces performance of the athletes. In a situation where milliseconds and millimetres often determine success of athletes, air pollution can be an important factor in affecting their performance.

Sri Lanka players, wearing face masks due to pollution, celebrate the dismissal of India's Ajinkya Rahane during the third Test in Delhi. (REUTERS)

“Rain and poor light are taken into consideration when determining suitable playing conditions, we suggest that atmospheric pollution should now also be included in the assessing criteria for a match.”

The air quality index, which reserves 301-400 as a value on the higher side of the “very poor” category, read 379 on Tuesday morning in Delhi. The Sri Lankan players could also be seen wearing masks from the second day onwards to tackle the pollution menace.

While the Test ended in a draw and India went on to match a record ninth successive series win, the match will perhaps go down the history books as the first instance when play had to be halted for poor “air quality” conditions.

First Published: Dec 07, 2017 11:54 IST