Sri Lanka minister prevents cricketers from travelling to India

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The Sri Lankans stayed strong and held their nerves to fight back as they registered a deserving draw against India in the third and final Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday. "Medically there was no reason to continue the match; it must have been taken off (sic)".

"It was a tough time for us as a team as we are not used to this kind of conditions".

During the match, which India won by 378 runs, Sri Lankan players had to wear masks to protect themselves from Delhi's heavy air pollution. However, the BCCI refused to pay attention to the issue and instead accused the Lankans of making a big fuss about the entire matter.

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Due to increased breathing, those that do sports in a polluted environment are exposed to air pollution levels three times higher than those resting. "Thanks to the Indians fans too, thanks to Virat and team, wish them well for the tour of South Africa", he said.

But the USA embassy website on Monday urged Delhi residents to "avoid all outdoor exertion" as concentrations of the smallest and most harmful airborne pollutants known as PM2.5 soared to hazardous levels.

Even limited exposure can cause shortness of breath and make the eyes weep and throat burn.

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The smog has become especially alarming in the past two years, casting doubt on the future of sports events.

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

The Test debacle in Delhi is not the first time cricketers have complained of air pollution in the capital, with Australia citing smoggy air following their loss to India in 1996.

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Generally, pollution levels rise during the winter across northern India and Pakistan due to crop burning in the region and cool air trapping particulates close to the ground.

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