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Doctors oppose cricket in Delhi, pollution soared 18 times the WHO’s safe level

Sri Lankan players vomited after returning to the dressing room on Sunday.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan players leave the field as Kohli declares India’s innings. (Photo Source: Twitter)

While many blamed the Sri Lankan cricketers for putting up a ‘show’ at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi on Sunday. Doctors have stressed on the health risk posed by smog. Many of the cricketers were reportedly vomiting and needed medical assistance. The air pollution in the Indian capital was 18 times higher than the World Health Organization`s safe level.

Visiting teams’ skipper Dinesh Chandimal and his boys had requested the umpires to put a break on the proceedings as they weren’t feeling comfortable, but the umpires decided to carry on with the game. The Indian Medical Association warned by saying playing in such conditions puts an athletes’ health at serious threat.

“This match should not have taken place in the first place. It is time the ICC (International Cricket Council) comes up with a policy on pollution,” said IMA president K. K Aggarwal. “You have fast bowlers, batsmen and fielders out there exposed to these very harmful pollutants over five days at a stretch. It takes a serious toll on your health in the long run.”

Burning of crop, lack of quality air

Pollution has been a concern in northern India and even in parts of Pakistan. “This should be a wake up call for Pak. Our children are at a huge risk because of dangerous pollution levels,” tweeted former Pakistani skipper and political opposition leader Imran Khan about the Kotla Test.

“Ideally, sporting events should not be scheduled in the winter months in Delhi,” chest and lung cancer specialist Doctor Arvind Kumar told AFP. We cannot expose our athletes to inhuman levels of pollution just because a few hundred crores (tens of millions of dollars) is at stake.”

The Sri Lankan Cricket Board have asked the BCCI for an explanation in this matter. Earlier, in the year 1996, Australia had complained about smog being the reason for their loss in one of the series’.

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