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Sri Lanka minister prevents cricketers from travelling to India

07 December 2017

Sri Lankan Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera stopped nine cricketers leaving for India on Tuesday to take part in a one-day series because he was unhappy with the team choice, sources said.

After Sri Lankan players were seen wearing masks during the third and final Test game between India and Sri Lanka in the national capital's Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to take in account atmospheric pollution while deciding the venue of a match. "It was a tough time, the thing is, we aren't used to the pollution".

"Before the third Test we had two practice sessions and we executed it there".

The safe levels of atmospheric particulate matter (PM), according to World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines, are 20 g/cu mm (annual mean) for PM10 and 10 g/ cu mm (annual mean) for PM2.5.

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These tiny particles - a fraction the size of human hair - lodge deep in the lungs and are linked to higher rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease.

"Air pollution also reduces the performance of the athletes".

"My eyes are burning; my throat is dry".

Sri Lanka is going through a hard transition phase and the current administration has been blamed for the team's poor run in worldwide cricket.

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It also proceeded but schedule was adjusted to avoid Delhi at its worst. They face India, led by Rohit Sharma, in the first match on Sunday in Dharamsala.

Other events in Delhi like an Asian tour golf title in November and Indian Super League football matches attract less controversy but doctors say pose no less risk.

"Had the match been cancelled, it could have been a bigger opportunity for Delhi to make all the efforts to bring the pollution level down", he said. It is time the ICC comes up with a policy on pollution.

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Sri Lanka minister prevents cricketers from travelling to India