India is playing Sri Lanka in a three-match Test series. The hosts are ahead 1-0 with one match drawn. The third Test is being played at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in New Delhi. Today was the second day of the Test. By the end of the second day India had piled up a massive 536 runs for seven wickets and declared their innings. Sri Lanka ended the day with 131 runs at the loss of 3 wickets.
But the match became the talk of the sporting world and everyone in India for a different reason. Now before we go into that, take a look at this photo:
That’s the Sri Lankan cricket team wearing masks on the field to protect themselves from air pollution in Delhi which touched another low on Sunday.
“Air quality remained ” Very Poor ” in Delhi. Prominent pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels remained above the normal standards at most of the locations in the city.
— Delhi Traffic Police (@dtptraffic) 3 December 2017
There were many interruptions during the course of the match leading to frustration in the Indian dressing room.
Sri Lankan players were clearly not comfortable on the field. The match witnessed the arrival of medical teams on the ground to check the health of the players. Frequent disruptions continued as some Sri Lankan bowlers complained of medical issues.
All of this irritated Virat Kohli who expressed his dissatisfaction over the frequent disruptions. He was soon adjudged LBW when India was on 243.
Delays continued and a frustrated Kohli declared the innings.
Innings break! India declare their innings on 536/7.
— BCCI (@BCCI) 3 December 2017
This was the first time in the history of cricket that a match was held up due to pollution.
Twitterati was left both amused and enraged. Some of them alleged that the Sri Lankan team was staging this drama to delay things because they are already behind in the series.
Smog not affecting 16k men, women and children but these 15 sour losers from Sri Lanka. Disgrace!!!
— Samir Soni (@samirsoni123) 3 December 2017
What Sri Lanka has taught world cricket…when You are losing, ask your physio to run in the field to kill time. When you out, cheat DRS from dressing room. When you cant bowl, cough and lie down. and when you can’t perform, hide your face behind a mask #INDvSL
— G. S. Vivek (@GSV1980) 3 December 2017
hahahahaha…. India declare… Virat gesturing “we will bowl now”… this was an obvious call from him given the farce on display. Poor gamesmanship from Sri Lanka. Ridiculous. #IndvSL
— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) 3 December 2017
Who is Sri Lankan
Ranjiv Bowl a no ball to avoid sehwag century
Vaas Bowl a Wide to avoid Ganguly century
Sangakara 2011 world cup toss
Sri Lanka players Drama today
— Bloody Fan (@bloodyfan7) 3 December 2017
He: Where are you from?
She: Delhi & you?
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She: You Idiot, Delhi is doing something for fog now. Don’t tease.
He: I mean, I’m from Sri Lanka.#INDvsSL
— DhananJay (@DJayWaleBabu) 3 December 2017
— Indian Cricket (@MSCric_07) 3 December 2017
Precisely. Lankan players laughing and clapping as they walked in. If it is too polluted to field and bowl, it should be too polluted to bat as well. Sri Lanka should forfeit both innings, ideally. #IndvSL https://t.co/saE1kfXoUr
— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) 3 December 2017
There were some sarcastic and funny reactions, too!
“No one cared who I was till I put on the mask.”
— Air Pollution Bro (@iravaadi) 3 December 2017
— Not David Warner (@notdavidwarner) 3 December 2017
I think India should take Sri Lanka’s concern seriously and rest the Sri Lankan players for this years IPL. 🤣
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) 3 December 2017
I’ve seen it all.
Or maybe it’s because they’re sick of the sight of Virat Kohli 😷 #245* https://t.co/JM97MdSGfA
— Trent Copeland (@copes9) 3 December 2017
Kohli on 240.
Sri Lanka say they can’t field because of pollution in Delhi.
This alone may drive us to reduce pollution.
Lung diseases are OK.
But, because of us Kohli couldn’t get a triple century!
— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) 3 December 2017
And there were some who expressed concern or supported the Lankan players’ need for the masks:
Heard Sehwag say ‘Sri Lanka cricketers are hiding their face behind the mask because their performance and not due to pollution’. Well, some decency must be maintained during commentary I believe and Ranji Trophy matches have been affected by smog earlier #delhipollution #INDvSL
— Paulami Chakraborty (@Polotwitts) 3 December 2017
NOTE: Sri Lanka is a clean country when comparing to India’s Delhi, so don’t be so mean. Wearing a mask and complaining on condition not aa crime. #INDvSL
— Nadeeshan Meedin (@nMeeDiN) 3 December 2017
— Rahul Fernandes (@newspaperwallah) 3 December 2017
Whichever way you see it, the fact remains that pollution is a serious issue in New Delhi. The air quality is indeed very bad for people from nations known for clear weather all through the year such as Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.