The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has told the BCCI that it was “greatly troubled” over the Test match between India and Sri Lanka being played in Delhi amid high pollution levels. The five-day match, in which Sri Lankan players were seen wearing masks on the field, ended on Wednesday.
Despite the Indian management repeatedly stating that the air quality wasn’t unsuitable, Sri Lankans continued to struggle and some players even vomited in the dressing room. It happened on the field as well when Suranga Lakmal was seen vomiting on the ground in between his over and was finally taken off. While it brought criticisms from environmentalists around the world, the Indian Medical Association has told the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that it was “greatly troubled” over the Test match between India and Sri Lanka being played in Delhi amid high pollution levels.
In a letter to BCCI acting President C.K. Khanna and head of the committee of administrators Vinod Rai, IMA president Dr K.K. Agarwal said that the message that has gone home from the India and Sri Lanka cricket match is that it is safe for children to play cricket even when PM 2.5 levels are more than 300.
“Rain and poor light are taken into consideration when determining suitable playing conditions, we suggest that atmospheric pollution should now also be included in the assessing criteria for a match,” the letter said.
He quoted from medical literature and journals and stated that poor air quality in the country’s capital may increase the risk of lung and heart disease and precipitate an acute potentially life-threatening event.
The safe levels of atmospheric particulate matter (PM), according to World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines, are 20 µg/