What did Sri Lanka think the masks were going to do? The crowd at Ferozeshah Kotla booed the visiting side, indignant. Everybody was there to watch cricket. The atrocious air quality was just the elements acting up. Get on with it now. Breathe less, if you want, but play on.
Sri Lanka battled an adverse situation, it was easy to note what was actually going on. Virender Sehwag, whose knowledge of science is second to none, declared from the commentary box, “Sri Lanka cricketers are hiding their face behind the mask because their performance and not due to pollution.”
Treachery. To the delightful sport that is cricket, and to the host. C.K. Khanna, the acting president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, among the handful of administrators left at the board’s disposal, did what an aggrieved leader must do.
“If 20,000 people in the stands did not have problem and the Indian team did not face any issue, I wonder why Sri Lankan team made a big fuss. I will need to talk to the secretary and ask him to write to the Sri Lanka Cricket” (SLC).
Yes, please write to the SLC. It is the same after all – to watch and to play. Pulp the science textbooks too, while you’re at it. Eliminating the authorities who claim that air quality hurts public health could be a useful exercise as well. Start with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Its statement on Sunday, December 3, carried pesky facts.
“Exposure to such air for a prolonged period can trigger respiratory illness. The most dominant pollutants are PM2.5 and PM10. These are ultra-fine particulates, which can measure up to 30 times finer than the width of a human hair. The concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 were 223 and 383 micrograms per cubic metre at 1 pm on Sunday afternoon. The corresponding 24-hour prescribed standards are 60 and 100.”
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) December 3, 2017
Only if Virat Kohli and his teammates could heed his own advice from a few weeks ago: “If we have to win this match against the pollution, we all have to come forward and fight against it. It is our responsibility to reduce the pollution levels. Especially the people from Delhi, it’s their responsibility.”
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) November 15, 2017