India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd Test Day 3: Dinesh Chandimal Signals Unease, Gets Medical Attention
On Sunday, the visitors' coach Nic Pothas said the smog was so extreme that his players -- who took the extraordinary step of wearing face masks -- were "coming off the field and vomiting".
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal today appeared to be struggling due to pollution as he signalled to the dressing room to suggest he was feeling uneasy. Sri Lanka's physio was out on the field to assess the situation, leading to a brief halt in play. The right-hander, however, continued to bat with partner Angelo Mathews on Day 3 of the final Test at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla. On Sunday, play was halted for around 20 minutes as Sri Lankan fielders complained of health issues and the umpires consulted the match referee and team doctors. Play resumed but Sri Lanka protested again, with the visitors soon short on fielders as pacemen Lahiru Gamage and Suranga Lakmal returned to the pavilion.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) today slammed authorities for hosting the Test in Delhi despite poor air quality - 18 times higher than the level considered safe.
After stumps on Day 2, the visitors' coach Nic Pothas said the smog was so extreme that his players -- who took the extraordinary step of wearing face masks -- were "coming off the field and vomiting".
Media reports said India captain Virat Kohli, who declared his first innings on 536 for seven to get the visiting fielders off the ground after the third stoppage, had been angered by what were seen as delaying tactics by the Sri Lankan players.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was less than impressed, accusing the visitors of making a fuss, and vowed to write to its Sri Lankan counterpart about the incident. But Pothas said his men were physically sick amid the "extremely high" pollution levels choking the ground.
"We had players coming off the field and vomiting," he told reporters after the match. "There were oxygen cylinders in the change room. It's not normal for players to suffer in that way while playing the game."
Pothas said Lakmal was "continuously vomiting" in the changing room, where the team doctors and the match referee had gathered to assess the situation.
"I think it's the first time that everybody has come across that situation," he added.
Play is routinely suspended due to poor weather, low visibility, lightning or rain, but a stoppage as a result of pollution is almost unheard of.
"It is definitely a first of its kind," said one commentator on the official television broadcast.
"If 20,000 people in the stands did not have problem and the Indian team did not face any issue, I wonder why Sri Lankan team made a big fuss," said CK Khanna, acting BCCI president.
Many Indian fans echoed similar frustrations online, accusing the touring side of being melodramatic.
The islanders were booed by Indian fans as their opening batsmen walked to the crease after Kohli's declaration.
But earlier in the day Indian bowler Kuldeep Yadav was also seen sporting a mask as he brought drinks to teammates on the field.
(With inputs from AFP)