Lankan dressing room resembled a hospital ward | Daily News

Lankan dressing room resembled a hospital ward

DELHI, Sunday –Although it was not on television and on public view the Sri Lankan dressing room resembled one of a hospital ward with a team of doctors and medical staff with oxygen masks all attending to players suffering from breathing problems as a result of the high pollution in the

air that affected them on the second day of the third Test against India played at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium here on Sunday.

Asanka Gurusinha talking through the incidents that took place during the day’s play told the Daily News: “We had four guys vomiting – Suranga Lakmal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Lahiru Gamage and Jeffrey Vandersay and everyone else struggling to breath. Suranga couldn’t walk up the stairs as he was throwing up because the intensity with which he bowled affected him.

“We had four oxygen cylinders and the players were masked up inside the changing rooms. We had five doctors in there working on them. The Anti- Corruption manager gave us the green light to get anyone we wanted and match referee (David Boon) was also present.

“For about 1 to 1½ hours the readings on the polluted air was very close to 400 and that is extreme danger. It started dropping later on but it still says that if you go and check the index it says it’s hazardous. We heard that Ashwin after getting out had oxygen in the changing room,” he said.


Gurusinha said that going forward it was an interesting topic for the ICC to look into. “I know that David Boon was talking to the ICC and they don’t have any numbers to work on. Most probably it might happen at the next ICC meeting where it will come down to medical reports and all of that,” said Gurusinha.

“I think it is the first time the ICC has faced this kind of situation. None of them knew about it, even the two umpires were struggling in the middle at that time.”


Sri Lanka team physiotherapist Nirmalan Thanabalasingham said there could be after effects from the exposure to polluted air and said they had to try and minimise the risk on the players who have already been exposed.

“You can get infections from it because these particles in the air get caught and would not be removed from the systems. You can have a higher incidence of things like upper respiratory tract infection, more running nose and throat symptoms. We just have to be smart and give our guys the best possible advice,” said Thanabalasingham.

“The advice given by the doctors here at the ground was there were no long term effects caused by it, but my question was always that’s for someone resting but not playing in an elite sport and having to perform under pressure with the increased stress on their respiratory system,” he said.

“In the middle of the day it got like there was a lot of pollution in the air. We don’t have an exact measure except what’s reported by the weather forecast. But there were a few players with respiratory distress in terms of like struggling to take deep breaths and we had a couple of guys who had to come off the field to be nebulised and open their airways up,” he explained.

“A few actually vomited because of the toxicity of the pollution they weren’t able to deal with it. We had a couple of guys with vomiting episodes all because of the para-respiratory distress they were under.

It mainly affected the bowlers because they were doing more of the work and the fast bowlers were the ones who probably took most of the toll.

“Even me when I was running on and off I could feel heaviness in the air like I was a bit like puffed when I jogged up the stairs, whereas like at the end of the day obviously there was a difference,” he said. 


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