Sri Lankan phsyio warns long-term effects for players

Rex Clementine reporting from Dehli

While some Sri Lankan players vomited, several others needed a supply of oxygen during the second day’s play of the third Test here in the Indian capital.

Sri Lankan physiotherapist Nirmalan Dhanabalasingham warned about long-term repercussions for the players while playing in unhealthy conditions.

"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, running nose and throat symptoms. We just have to be smart and give our guys the best possible advice to minimise the risk because they have already been exposed," Dhanabalasingham said

"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. Some actually vomited because, what I think, of the toxicity of the pollution. They weren’t able to deal with it," he added.

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

Sri Lanka were left with eventually just ten players as several of them had to withdraw complaining about inability to breathe.

"It would affect as you increase your physical activity as you are now placing higher stress on the systems where it has a greater requirement of your body to process the air that’s coming in and replenish the body of oxygen. Therefore if it is already difficult, then you have to perform physical exercise at the same time that stresses the body even further," he explained.

"Going forward, there is some way of measuring it (pollution) so that we know in the future whether it is safe or not safe for someone to come off. For this particular Test match, we are almost stuck where our guys have to obviously go off in kinds of conditions, if it is similar tomorrow. I don’t know where they draw the line," he added.

According to Sri Lankan team manager Asanka Gurusinha there was chaos inside the dressing room. "We had four oxygen cylinders and the players were masked up inside the changing rooms and we had five doctors in there working on them. The anti-corruption manager gave us the green light and said to get everyone in. The Match Referee was in there as well."

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