The final test match between India and Sri Lanka was halted at least twice on its second day. The reason is probably one of the most bizarre (and saddest) ones in the history of Indian cricket.
The match, which was being held at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi, had to be stopped because the players were just not able to breathe, thanks to the high levels of pollution in the city.
Several Sri Lankan players were spotted wearing pollution masks while fielding. The high pollution levels and deteriorating air quality was clearly making things difficult for players, particularly pacers Lahingu Gamage and Suranga Lakmal. Both of them struggled to bowl, after which the umpires stopped the game to discuss their health concerns.
The break was called for as Gamage started coughing while bowling. Following a discussion with the captains, the umpires and match referee instructed the medical team to check the playersâ€™ health.
After a 20-minute break, the game resumed only to be stopped after 10 minutes as a distressed Gamage again left the pitch for a medical check-up.
Shortly after that, Lakal too left the pitch complaining of ill-health, forcing the Indian skipper Virat Kohli to declare innings at 536 runs.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) level in New Delhi on Sunday was registered as â€śhazardousâ€ť, with PM 2.5 level measured at 316 by aqin.org. The safe PM2.5 limit is considered to be between 51 and 100.
Play between India vs Sri Lanka is currently halted due quality of air in Delhi. Can there be anything more shameful for India and Indian Government? People should refuse to be a part of their shame. pic.twitter.com/QWcLE8KAV8â€” Ram Subramanian (Voice Of Ram) (@VORdotcom) December 3, 2017
Prominent journalist Shekhar Gupta suggested that cricket in Delhi should be held off until things improve.
Wearing masks at smoggy Kotla, Sri Lankanâ€™s deliver a message & rebuke. Delhi shd be banned from cricket in winter till things improve pic.twitter.com/nUUjagcjvjâ€” Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) December 3, 2017
However, a few Indian cricket fans werenâ€™t convinced. They felt that it was a deliberate act by the Sri Lankan players to draw the game.
Sri Lankan fielders using masks while fielding due to pollution in the air of Delhi.â€” Abhishek Singh (@kabhishek744) December 3, 2017
To much drama by Sri Lankan players, as usual. Everyone including batsman, umpires and crowd are comfortable with the surrounding except Sri Lankan players.#3rdTest #INDvSL #SLvsInd #KingKohli pic.twitter.com/wat4HROehX
They are not having trouble in batting. "Sri Lankan" is a really loosers.â€” Dr.Shivam Rajpoot (@ShivamRajpoott) December 3, 2017
Disgusting players sri Lankan pic.twitter.com/rgMLe8J8uE
Virat Kohli got out and Sri Lankan players can remove the mask now...â€” Broken Pundit (@Brokenpundit) December 3, 2017
On Sunday, Kohli hit his sixth double century, surpassing West Indies legend Brian Laraâ€™s record of most centuries as captain. He also beat Don Bradmanâ€™s record of scoring three double centuries in two successive calendar years.