The Indian Medical Association, on Thursday, wrote to the Board of Control for Cricket in India to take the pollution levels into consideration, stating that it can have a bearing on the players’ performances.
IMA’s message to the board comes in the wake of the smog-chocked Delhi Test, which witnessed multiple stoppages and also saw players from India and Sri Lanka vomit on the field.
The air quality levels in the capital was on the “very poor” scale throughout the match, and read an alarming 384 on Monday, almost 18 times the safe levels recommended by the World Health Organisation. “Greatly troubled about the recent cricket match between India and Sri Lanka in Delhi played under conditions of high levels of air pollution,” ANI quoted IMA as saying.
“Air pollution also reduces performance of the athletes. In a situation where milliseconds and millimetres often determine success of athletes, air pollution can be an important factor in affecting their performance.”
On Monday, IMA chief KK Aggarwal slammed the BCCI for deciding to host a match in Delhi despite the warning signs: “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,” he said. “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.”
BCCI refused to comment on the matter with acting president CK Khanna even questioning why Sri Lanka made “a big fuss” about air pollution. Several health experts have called for Delhi to be suspended as a sporting venue. India’s Mohammed Shami and Sri Lanka’s Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Gamage were spotted vomiting, and the latter, walk off the field midway through his over citing illness. Several Lankan players also wore facemasks while fielding.
India won the three-match series 1-0 and lifted a record-equalling ninth consecutive Test series.