Poor air quality briefly halts Kotla Test after Lankans complain

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: Sri Lankan players wear anti-pollution masks on the field, as the air quality deteriorates during the second day of their third test cricket match against India in New Delhi on  December 3, 2017. PTI Photo

New Delhi: Sri Lankan players wear anti-pollution masks on the field, as the air quality deteriorates during the second day of their third test cricket match against India in New Delhi on December 3, 2017. PTI Photo

The third test match between India and Sri Lanka at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi was briefly halted on Sunday afternoon after Sri Lankan players complained of poor air quality. It was the first time that the issue was air pollution was raised by a visiting international cricket team.

Delhi has been battling poor air quality for the past few weeks, with the pollution in the air being multiple times over the safe limit.
The play was halted for 17 minutes in the post-lunch session after visiting players, led by their skipper Dinesh Chandimal, wanted to leave the field because of severe pollution.
The Lankans were seen wearing anti-pollution masks during the post-lunch session. The play was halted between 12:32 pm to 12:49 pm after which the umpires and match referee David Boon convinced them to continue.
In the 123rd over being bowled by pacer Lahiru Gamage that play was stopped. Gamage was about to bowl his fourth delivery and he stopped in his stride complaining of uneasiness.
New Delhi: Sri Lankan players wear anti-pollution masks on the field as the air quality deteriorates during the second day of their third test cricket match against India in New Delhi on  December 3, 2017. PTI Photo

New Delhi: Sri Lankan players wear anti-pollution masks on the field as the air quality deteriorates during the second day of their third test cricket match against India in New Delhi on December 3, 2017. PTI Photo

Chandimal walked up to the on-field umpires Joel Wilson and Nigel Llong to complain about the poor air quality, complaining that his fast bowler was finding it difficult to breathe.

The light had also worsened due to the pollution and it was evident that an already battered Sri Lankan team wanted an opportunity to leave the field.

The play was stopped again in the 127th over when Lakmal walked off the field after bowling the fifth ball. The umpires once again got together, chatting with Chandimal and Angelo Mathews. Sri Lanka manager Asanka Gurusinha and India coach Ravi Shastri also joined in.

Dilruwan Perera finished the over and Sandakan bowled the next before Chandimal stopped play because there were only 10 Sri Lankans on the field.

Kohli then decided to declare India’s first innings at 536/7d in 127.5 overs. The skipper led from the front, knocking 243 to complete his 6th test double ton.

(With inputs from agencies)