The air quality in Delhi remained “very poor” on Tuesday leading to visiting Sri Lankan seamer Suranga Lakmal going off the ground after vomiting on the fourth day of the third and final test match being played at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground.
The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (Safar) recorded an overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 372 for the national capital, labelling it as “very poor”.
On the whole, the Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) in the city was also recorded as “very poor”– the fine particles are considered a prominent cause of lung infections and other breathing problems.
The level of PM 2.5 was recorded at “very poor” at all ten monitoring stations of Safar across the city and neighbouring areas.
The Sri Lankan pacer had bowled only three overs when he was seen vomiting on the field, prompting the physiotherapist to run to the field. After consultation, he went off the ground.
Similar complaints were made by the Lankan test players on Sunday while fielding before they left the ground halting the game before lunch time.
The players wore masks while fielding after the lunch session on the second day.
The incident may rob the Indian capital of future winter tests, continued to plague the third and final match on Tuesday, according to news agency Reuters .
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) said it would factor in Delhi’s pollution before scheduling a match in the city at this time of the year.
“This point about scheduling matches in Delhi in this particular period can be considered in view of the situation encountered in the last two-three days,” acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary told reporters late on Monday.
“This pollution issue has been spoken about for years … It can’t be seen affecting just one walk of life. The agencies which need to be dealing with it, I’m sure are dealing with it.”
Delhi’s government last month ordered schools to shut temporarily after pollution readings in some places peaked at 500, the most severe level on the government’s air quality index that measures poisonous particles.
The pollution prompted the board to cancel two Ranji Trophy matches in Delhi last year.
“As you are aware, the BCCI is sensitive about this fog and smog over the years when they scheduled domestic games out of Delhi…” Mr. Choudhary said.
Several Sri Lankan players had their facemasks on even on Tuesday.
Their coach Nic Pothas has called Delhi’s air pollution a “unique” and “well-documented” problem but Mr. Choudhary said Sri Lanka Cricket did not raise the issue when the tour was being finalised.
“If they had any [objection], they didn’t express it to me,” the BCCI official said.