Worsening Delhi pollution halts a match, sends players to safety

India and Sri-Lanka players with their gas masks on after the match was stopped [PHOTO: COURTESY]

Hazardous smog stopped play in the third Test between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi on Sunday, with players wearing face masks as air quality dipped in the heavily polluted capital.

Many of Sri Lanka's fielders returned from lunch on the second day wearing masks amid visible haze at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium

A short while later play was halted for around 20 minutes as Sri Lanka complained to the umpires about the smog.

The US embassy website Sunday showed levels of the smallest and most harmful airborne pollutants in Delhi at 328 -- more than ten times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization.

The Test was delayed as the umpires consulted the match referee, team doctors and physiotherapists before deciding to resume play.

But the visitors protested twice more and pacemen Lahiru Gamage and Suranga Lakmal returned to the pavilion, meaning the Sri Lankans were running short of fielders.

This prompted Indian skipper Virat Kohli to declare his first innings on 536 for seven to get the Sri Lankan fielders off the ground.

Play is routinely suspended due to poor weather, low visibility, lightning or rain but a stoppage as a result of pollution is almost unheard of.

"It is definitely a first of its kind," said one commentator on the official television broadcast.

Last month more than 30,000 runners competed in the Delhi half-marathon, despite dire health warnings from doctors who called for the race to be postponed.

Doctors warn that competitive exercise during severe pollution can trigger asthma attacks, worsen lung conditions and increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Other top-level sporting events in Delhi, such as international cricket and golf tournaments, have attracted less attention despite the hazardous levels of pollution.

A smog outbreak last month in the Indian capital -- an incident described by doctors as a public health emergency -- saw schools shut for days as pollution soared to 40 times the safe WHO levels.

Delhi's air quality typically worsens in winter as cooler air traps pollutants near the ground, preventing them from dispersing into the atmosphere -- a phenomenon known as inversion

 

Next Story
LATEST STORIES
Wanyama’s return to action draws near

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Victor Wanyama returned to training for the Premier League club on Monday as he recovers from a knee injury sustained at the start of the campaign. The 26-year-old Kenyan international, who missed just two league games last season, featured in the north London club’s first two matches before picking up the injury ahead of the home match against Burnley in August

Arsenal's Europa League hopes to be tested by Swedish giants

Arsenal's hopes of Europa League glory will be tested in the last 32 by Swedish minnows Ostersunds, ironically coached by the only English manager left in European competition and founded in the same month Arsene Wenger took over the Gunners.

Real eyes Liverpool star in mouthwatering deal

Real Madrid are readying a player-plus-cash deal to take Mo Salah to the Bernabeu - and are willing to offload Lucas Vazquez in the other direction. That is according to Don Balon, who say Los Blancos are serious about their interest in the Egyptian who has taken the Premier League by storm this season.

Gor Mahia dominate season’s nominees list

The Gor Mahia attacking trio of George Odhiambo, Jacques Tuyisenge, and Meddie Kagere have made the eight-man shortlist for the inaugural Sports Journalists Association of Kenya Player of the Year award. The three, who scored a combined 32 goals to help K’Ogalo win a record 16th Kenyan Premier League title, will battle it out with their captain, Musa Mohammed, and last year’s winner, Kenneth Muguna, for the top accolade.

Oburu carries Kenya's title hopes

The forced smile on the face of Harambee Stars' head coach Paul Put at the final whistle of their last group A match against Tanzania yesterday told it all. Kenya were staring at the exit door of the 2017 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup yesterday at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. Stars knew that anything less than maximum points against Taifa Stars would see them walk away in shame.

Salah named BBC African player of the year

Egypt star Mohamed Salah won the prestigious BBC African Player of the Year award on Monday, rewarded for a 2017 packed with sparkling displays for Liverpool, Roma and his national team. The 25-year-old topped a poll that saw a record number of votes cast after firing Egypt to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations and almost single-handedly taking Egypt to their first World Cup finals since 1990, scoring five and setting up their other two goals in qualifying.

More Stories
England 'tourists masquerading as cricketers' panned

England were dismissed as "tourists masquerading as cricketers" by Australia's media which turned the screw Monday after Ben Duckett was fined for pouring beer over teammate Jimmy Anderson. Duckett was slapped with a reported £1,500 ($2,000) fine and will play no further part in the remaining England Lions matches following the late-night bar prank in Perth on Thursday.

Cricket: Three teams chase two remaining slots: Kenya in must-win clash with Scotland

There’s no time to blink as focus shifts to 2019 World Cup Qualifiers set for March 2018 in Zimbabwe.

Lions retain NPCA title: Flawless champions maintain form

Despite missing three key players, teamwork does it for league winners.

Pollution stops play in India-Sri Lanka Test in Delhi

Hazardous smog stopped play in the third Test between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi on Sunday, with players wearing face masks as air quality dipped in the heavily polluted capital. Many of Sri Lanka's fielders returned from lunch on the second day wearing masks amid visible haze at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium

Cricket: Former star Odumbe contented with his current position

The men’s national cricket team batting coach Maurice Odumbe is contented with his current position. Terming it an opportunity to rebuild his life, career and also give back to the sport that made him a household name in his heyday, the former national team skipper is yearning to see Kenya reclaim its lost cricket glory.

Cricket: Champs open 36-point gap in league standings

Leaders have one hand on the title and are yet to lose this season.