With the second day of the ongoing third Test in Delhi marred by several start-stop delays due to Sri Lankan players’ problem with the polluted air of the national capital, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said that pollution levels would be taken into consideration before allotting an international game to the venue in future.
Several Sri Lankan players came out to field after the lunch break wearing pollution masks. But they were still having breathing problems, and it soon led to some chaotic scenes as they were looking hell-bent to leave the field even though the Indian players were batting at ease.
The players were constantly complaining about the pollution which caused several delays in the game, a couple of which saw Ravichandran Ashwin and Virat Kohli being dismissed after losing their concentration. At one point in time, Sri Lanka was left with just ten players on the field following the departure of pace bowlers Lahiru Gamage and Suranga Lakmal after they complained of breathing. India soon declared the innings, and the matter has been under control since then as Sri Lanka player have batted for close to a day and a half without much difficulty.
“Pollution has been spoken about for years, but not just in one walk of life. These are sensitive matters, and there are agencies and structures that deal with this. Scheduling of matches in Delhi during this time of the year will be considered. We do check the weather before hosting matches in places like Delhi, the NCR, and western UP,” Choudhary told reporters after third day’s play.
The BCCI official also insisted that Sri Lanka Cricket had not objected the scheduling of the match in Delhi when the schedule was being prepared.
Meanwhile, Angelo Mathews, who scored a hundred and batted for close to two-and-a-half sessions, said that the air quality was a ‘bit worse’. The former Sri Lanka skipper was also wearing a pollution mask on the second day but batted without it.
“It is pretty much the same. Or, a bit worse probably. It is always the same. Look, it is up to the match referee and umpires to take the decision. We are here to play cricket and we want to get out on the park. You’ve got to deal with what you have for the next two days,” he said.
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