New Delhi: Sri Lanka players continued to struggle with air pollution in Delhi as captain Dinesh Chandimal appeared to be struggling while batting and signaled towards the dressing room after feeling uneasy during the third and final test match currently underway at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi.
Sri Lanka physio ran onto the field to asses the player, halting the match for a brief period. The Sri Lankan cricket team on Sunday halted proceedings after complaining of poor air quality, the first such grievance by an international team visiting the pollution-mired national capital.
Sri Lankan fast bowlers Lahiru Gamage and Suranga Lakmal returned to the pavilion amid the drama, leaving the visitors short of fielders and prompting Kohli to declare India's first innings on 536-7.
Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas defended the decision to halt the match, saying players' safety is of "paramount importance".
"Obviously it is well documented that Delhi has a high level of pollution. They had got extremely high at one point, we had players coming in at one point and vomiting," Pothas told reporters.
"There were oxygen cylinders in the dressing room. It is not normal for players to suffer in that way while playing the game.
"Under most circumstances, we wanted to play cricket. We just wanted to have some clarity on the safety of players," Pothas said.
The Lankan move irked the BCCI and Team India's support staff nearly called it a deliberate tactic, though the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)'s rating of the capital's air quality remained "very poor".
BCCI acting president CK Khanna said, "If 20,000 people in the stands did not have a problem and the Indian team did not face any issue, I wonder why Sri Lankan team made a big fuss. I will need to talk to the secretary and ask him to write to the Sri Lanka Cricket."
Asked about Sri Lanka's protest, India's bowling coach Bharat Arun said, "Virat batted close to two days and he didn't need a mask! We are focused on what we need to do. The conditions are the same for both teams, we aren't too bothered about it."...