Vomiting, headache and other woes! Delhi air pollution proving a health hazard for ISL, Ranji Trophy players

Rains, storms, cyclones are some of the natural things that can affect occurrence of a sports event, but these natural things do not affect sportsmen health. But now, there is one natural thing which is proving to be a great loss to sportsmen’s health. And this the air pollution.

For instance, the air pollution in Delhi is affecting the players of ongoing Indian Super League 2018-19 and Ranji Trophy 2018-19.  The poor air quality is proving to be a hazard for players, who are falling ill and facing other health issues. The cricketers and footballers are complaining about the ill effects of the air pollution in the national capital, because of which they are not able perform their best show at the game.

Earlier on Wednesday, coach of Mumbai Ranji team Vinayak Samant informed about his team’s fast bowler Tushar Deshpande’s worsening health conditions since he landed in Delhi. “Tushar is not feeling well. He has been vomiting and complaining of headache and fever since he arrived in Delhi. But he will be playing tomorrow’s game,” Samant said to The Indian Express. Mumbai’s player Siddhesh Lad was also seen wearing a black anti-pollution mask while batting in the match against Railways.

Even the ISL players are not able to save themselves from the devastating effects of poor air quality in Delhi.  Many players of Delhi Dynamos team have fallen ill over the past few days. The Indian Express quoted Dutch footballer and Delhi Dynamos player Gianni Zuiverloon as saying, “A lot of players are complaining of sickness. There’s a lot of bacterial things in the air. I have been sick for a couple of days… runny nose, diarrhoea… although I don’t know if it’s because of the pollution or because of food. But it’s difficult to adapt. This is something we have to deal with, though.

As the air pollution is going to be affect the national capital heavily in coming days, Delhi Dynamos players are worried about their health. Team’s coach Josep Gombau was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, “We are not used to this but we can’t change it. It is not easy to adjust to this pollution. If the pollution is getting worse, the health of my players in more important than anything else. We are having normal training days right now (but) we will see,”

The coach also informed that although they can’t do much about the situation, the players are taking whatever little precautions they can take from their side. Players opt to wear mask during their matches. Also, players stick to stay indoors and come out only when necessary.

However, this is not the first time that the severe quality of air in Delhi have affected sport events. In 2016, a Ranji Trophy match between Bengal and Gujarat at the Feroz Shah Kotla was cancelled due to smog. In 2017, the Sri Lankan players were seen wearing masks, complaining of breathing problems and dizziness while fielding due to air quality index being “severe”.

The Test match continued but it was decided by the BCCI that it will not schedule any international matches — especially Test match — in the capital at this time of the year. There are indications that the air quality is set to worsen during the early part of November with crop burning in neighbouring Punjab as well as due to the pollution caused by bursting of crackers. The air quality is expected to be anything between “poor” and “severe”.

With inputs from agencies

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