NEW DELHI– England cricketers have resorted to a sporadic use of inhalers to deal with high-pollution levels in major Indian cities over the course of their dismal World Cup campaign.
British newspaper ‘I’ reported that the some of the England cricketers were forced to take inhalers, usually used by people suffering from Asthma.
Test captain Ben Stokes was seen using the inhalers during training ahead of the game against Sri Lanka in Bangalore.
Delhi breached the AQI (Air Quality Index) mark of 400 on Thursday to enter the ‘Severe’ category. The pollution has caused a major concern in Mumbai as well with India skipper Rohit Sharma touching on the subject ahead of the Sri Lanka game on Thursday.
“I mean, in an ideal world, you don’t want a situation like this, but I’m pretty sure the concerned people are taking the necessary steps. It’s not ideal, everyone knows that. But obviously, looking at our future generations – your kids, my kids – obviously, it’s quite important that they get to live without any fear.”
“So, yeah, every time I get to speak outside of cricket, if we are not discussing cricket, I always talk about this. You know we have to look after our future generations,” said Rohit on Wednesday.
England are currently in Ahmedabad for their game against arch-rivals Australia but the British paper reported the players are unlikely to use inhalers due to acceptable air quality in the city.
England batter Joe Root was asked about air pollution in Mumbai following the heavy loss to South Africa last month but he did not say it was a factor in the team’s defeat. “It just felt like you couldn’t get your breath. It was unique,” he said.
“Who knows whether it was air quality? I am not qualified to know. It felt like quite a hazy day, wasn’t it? And you could definitely see that from one side of the ground looking back towards the sun, it was a lot harder visually than it was on the other side of the ground.
“Whether it was air quality or what, it was definitely an experience I’ve not had before,” Root said.
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday expressed concern over the “deteriorating” air quality index in Mumbai while taking suo motu cognisance of the issue.
The situation is worse in Delhi where Sri Lanka will take on Bangladesh on November 6. In 2017, the Sri Lankan players were forced to wear masks while on field in New Delhi during the third match of the Test series.
As per a Lancet Study, pollution caused more than 2.3 million deaths in India in 2019.
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