Indian Medical Association urges organisers to take pollution into consideration

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The IMA said it was greatly troubled by the scenes in the final Test at Delhi.

Cricket organisers must take pollution into account before allowing matches to go ahead, the Indian Medical Association told the country’s governing body for the sport Thursday, after a smog-plagued Test match in New Delhi.

The IMA said in a letter to the Indian cricket board it was “greatly troubled” by scenes of players wearing masks to protect themselves from air pollution many times the global safe limit during the third test match between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi.

Two players vomited on the pitch, and play had to be halted briefly.

“Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of lung and heart disease and may precipitate an acute potentially life-threatening event,” it said in a letter to the Board of Control for cricket in India (BCCI) seen by AFP.

“When pollution levels are this high, everyone including healthy persons may experience some level of discomfort,” said the letter, signed by IMA president K.K. Aggarwal.

Pollution should be taken into account before allowing play to proceed in much the same way as for rain and poor light, he added.

The BCCI said after this week’s debacle at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium that the Indian capital could be dropped as a venue during winter, when pollution levels tend to spike.

Two players vomited on the pitch due to the discomfort.

Two players vomited on the pitch due to the discomfort.

“The BCCI has been sensitive on the smog and fog matter over the years,” the board secretary Amitabh Choudhary said.

Copies of the IMA’s letter were also sent to India’s chief justice and the International cricket Council (ICC), which would have to approve any such changes.

Sri Lanka have made no official complaint but their coach Nic Pothas said earlier it wasn’t normal for players to suffer in that way.

“I think it’s the first time that everybody has come across that situation,” he said after the first smoggy day’s play.

“There aren’t too many rules regarding pollution.”

Provided by AFP Sport

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More records for Kohli: Talking points from India's series win over Sri Lanka

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India clinched their ninth successive Test series win – equalling Australia’s all-time record – after the drawn third and final match against Sri Lanka in New Delhi on Wednesday.

AFP Sport highlights five talking points from the three-match series.

SMOGGY HORROR SHOW

Sri Lankan players wore face masks to combat severe pollution during the smog-shrouded five-day game, which saw fast bowlers Suranga Lakmal and Mohammed Shami vomiting on the ground, apparently after inhaling the noxious air.

Doctors slammed cricket authorities for putting players’ health at risk, and although play was halted for about 20 minutes on day two, the game resumed.

The fiasco could prove to be a death knell for Delhi as a Test venue at least during winter, when the capital’s air pollution is at its worst.

Sri Lankan team with masks on

MORE RECORDS FOR KING KOHLI

Man of the series Virat Kohli plundered runs and records in all three matches. Nicknamed King Kohli, the prolific batsman is in the form of his life, hitting two double centuries in the series including a career-best 243 in Delhi.

He became the first player to score six Test double tons as captain, surpassing West Indies great Brian Lara. Accumulating 610 runs in three matches at an average of 152.50, Kohli said “self-belief” had been key to his success.

“It was a kind of a revelation that I can play in Tests the way I can do in ODIs… if you can believe in yourself, you can achieve anything in any format,” he said.

INDIA TARGET PERFECT 10

India appear well-equipped to chase a record 10th successive Test series triumph during their South Africa tour starting January – particularly given the strong form of their fast bowlers.

While spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja topped the bowling charts in the Sri Lanka series, pacemen Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma were lauded for their performances on a lifeless Delhi pitch.

Earlier Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed eight wickets in the opener in Kolkata. “Shami and Ishant’s (bowling) rhythm was excellent and they were a revelation,” said India’s bowling coach Bharat Arun.

India Champions

SRI LANKA CHAOS CONTINUES

A selection drama back home even while the Delhi Test was still in progress highlighted the chaos gripping Sri Lankan cricket.

The island’s sports minister stopped nine cricketers from flying out to India to take part in the upcoming one-day series – Dayasiri Jayasekera, who once called the Sri Lankan players fat following failed fitness tests, was apparently unhappy with the choice of the team.

Thisara Perera’s side was finally cleared to travel.

Dayasiri Jayasekera

BITTERSEET FOR CHANDIMAL

Test skipper Dinesh Chandimal rounded off his series with a century in Delhi – but immediately learned he will play no part in the one-day matches.

Chandimal himself put on a brave face, saying: “I got enough matches in ODIs against Pakistan and I didn’t perform well … This period (outside the team) I will use to become a good ODI player.”

But for many others the omission simply proved he is the latest victim of whimsical changes intended to rejuvenate the team’s dipping limited-overs fortunes.

Dinesh Chandimal 2

Provided by AFP Sport

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India win record ninth Test series in a row after Third Test draw against Sri Lanka in Delhi

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India have enjoyed a fine 2017.

India won a record ninth Test series in succession on Wednesday after drawing the pollution-tainted third and final Test with Sri Lanka in New Delhi.

Top-ranked India won the series 1-0 to equal Australia’s record of nine successive Test series victories, between 2005-2008.

The first Test between India and Sri Lanka in Kolkata had ended in a draw and the hosts won the second game by an innings and 239 runs.

But Sri Lanka salvaged some pride in the final match thanks to Dhananjaya de Silva and Roshen Silva, who defied the odds and held out for a draw.

The Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground was marred by severe pollution, with fast bowlers from both sides vomiting Tuesday amid thick smog.

In an unprecedented move, Sri Lankan players wore facemasks while fielding to combat the toxic air, which interrupted play on day two as the visitors protested the choking conditions.

“It was a tough time. The thing is, in Sri Lanka we are not used that, so that’s why we struggled (on) the first two days,” said Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal.

“But after that we needed to continue the game. We told the boys we have to forget about that and we need to play the game.

“Today is a fantastic day. It feels like Sri Lanka,” quipped the captain, referring to the less smoggy weather Wednesday.

The US embassy website on Wednesday showed concentrations of the smallest and most harmful airborne pollutants hit 234, better than a day earlier but still nearly nine times the World Health Organization’s safe limit.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India has said Delhi could be dropped as a venue during winter when pollution spikes.

Dhananjaya, who retired hurt on 119 due to muscle stiffness, and Roshen (74 not out) held Sri Lanka steady over three sessions of play on the final day, after the visitors were set a huge 410 victory target late on day four.

Roshen was batting alongside Niroshan Dickwella on 44 when the two teams decided to shake hands with just seven mandatory overs left for the day.

Virat Kohli captain of India walks back after the match ended in draw during day five of the 3rd test match between India and Sri Lanka held at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on the 6th December 2017Photo by Prashant Bhoot / BCCI / Sportzpics

Kohli’s men are on the march again.

Spinner Ravindra Jadeja rattled the Sri Lankan top order with three strikes, including Angelo Mathews’ key wicket in the morning session.

But De Silva thwarted a persistent Indian attack with his third Test hundred.

He built crucial partnerships with Chandimal (36) and then with Silva, who had begun his Test career with a duck in the first innings.

Silva also combined with Dickwella in an unbeaten 94-run stand.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli praised the Sri Lankan batsman for digging their heels in on a wearing pitch.

“Always when you’re not able to finish the game off in the second innings, especially when you had them three down yesterday, feels a bit of (a) disappointment, but I wouldn’t say it’s a very bad feeling,” he said.

“They played well, firstly, credit to them. They really stuck it out. Their batsmen really applied themselves, showed composure and confidence and didn’t give our bowlers anything throughout the day.”

Kohli was named man of the series for his prolific performances including two double centuries.

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