After being slammed by the National Green Tribunal for hosting the India-Sri Lanka test in the pollution-laden National Capital, the BCCI has finally acted on the issue. The BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary said that levels of pollution will be considered before having an international game in Delhi again. Such a statement comes after the BCCI was slammed for holding the test match in Delhi where the poor air quality continued on the second day of the third Test between India and Sri Lanka.
While speaking to the media, Choudhary said, “Pollution has been spoken about for years, but not just in one walk of life. These are sensitive matters, and there are agencies and structures that deal with this. Scheduling of matches in Delhi during this time of the year will be considered. We do check the weather before hosting matches in places like Delhi, the NCR, and western UP.”
However, secretary Choudhary has denied any report that the cricket board of Sri Lanka had any conversation about hosting the match in Delhi. The Sri Lankan board did not get in touch with the BCCI regarding air quality in New Delhi, he said.
The terrible condition of Delhi’s air quality was highlighted on Sunday when the ongoing Test match was stopped twice by the Lankans. The players were complaining of uneasiness due to the “poor air quality”. What can only be described as a low point of the series, Sri Lankan players came out to play in the post-lunch session wearing masks.
But on Monday, not a single of the Sri Lankan batsmen wore the masks apart from a few reserve players. However, Indian reserve spinner Kuldeep Yadav was seen sporting a mask. Sri Lankan batsman Angelo Mathews said that the air quality was a “bit worse”. Mathews added, “It is pretty much the same. Or, a bit worse probably. It is always the same. Look, it is up to the match referee and umpires to take the decision. We are here to play cricket and we want to get out on the park. You’ve got to deal with what you have for the next two days”.
Mathews said that the incident on Sunday has not affected the team’s ties with the Indian squad. It was captain Dinesh Chandimal’s multiple requests to the umpires and skipper Virat Kohli to declare the innings, which came after the struggles by the Sri Lankan players with the Delhi’s air quality. Mathews said, “Not at all. As I said, it was one of those unique occasions where no one knew what to do. It didn’t hamper the relationship of players on the field. Off the field, we are great friends and it will remain the same,” he said.