In a shocking turn of events, the Sri Lankan cricket team halted the Third Test against India due to Delhi’s poor air quality. On Sunday, the visibility gradually decreased due to the thick haze after the lunch interval at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.
This is the first time in the history of cricket, an international match was halted due to pollution. After lunch, the Sri Lankan team walked onto the field with protective masks. The Air Quality Index (AQI) was measured at 338 per particulate matter rating it very poor.
The play first stopped when the Sri Lankan players decided to huddle. Kohli waited impatiently as his score reached a career best of 240. Once the play began, Lahiru Gamage started the over with a bang dismissing Ashwin. After a while, Gamage walked off the field with the help of support staff members.
This delayed the match further, Kohli got distracted and got out at 243 losing the opportunity at a Test triple century. The second time the players took a break and Ravi Shastri took the chance to speak to the Umpires.
After the play began a few minutes later the Sri Lankan Umpire asked for yet another break. The players were reduced to 10 with multiple replacements. It was reported some of the players were vomiting.
But not everyone was sympathetic to the Sri Lankan players grief. BCCI President C. K. Khanna said, “If 20,000 people in the stands did not have 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.”
Earlier, Test matches during winter in Delhi have been halted due to visibility problems but it’s the first for pollution.