New Delhi: Sri Lanka coach Nic Pothas said his men were physically sick amid the “extremely high” pollution levels choking the ground. A controversy-marred second day when Sri Lankan players forced an Indian declaration by halting play for 26 minutes, citing uneasiness due to poor air quality caused by smog. All the Sri Lankan fielders were wearing anti-pollution masks while fielding during the post-lunch session.
“We had players coming off the field and vomiting. There were oxygen cylinders in the change room. It’s not normal for players to suffer in that way while playing the game,” he said. 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.
“There aren’t too many rules regarding pollution. What we are going to do tomorrow is in the hands of the match referee. They will have meetings tonight to put in some sort of a precedent if it happens like this tomorrow.” India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun, on the other hand, took a dig at the Sri Lankan cricketers.
“Virat batted close to two days. He did not need a mask. We are focussed on what we need to do. The conditions are the same for both teams and we are not too bothered about it,” Arun said. At one point in time, chief coach Ravi Shastri was seen getting onto the field to have a chat with the umpires.
Arun said: “Ravi’s take was pretty simple. He said ‘please get on with the game, you don’t need to stop. You take a decision and just get on with the game.’”Arun said it’s not for players to protest and stop the match as there are match officials (match referee and umpires) assigned for a job.
“I think the umpires and the match referee have a job on hand and it's not up to the players to go and protest. They know what they are doing. When the play was unnecessarily being stopped, we just wanted to get on with the game because our focus is to win this Test match,” Arun added.
He made it clear that the Indian team was not too worried about the pollution. “I think pollution is everywhere in our country. This pollution levels are serious in our country. I don’t think we were too worried about pollution. The BCCI scheduled this matches and our job is to get the best out of our team.”...