Cricket isn’t cricket without the occasional “rain stopped play” that has marked – not often enough for English taste – the Ashes test in Adelaide. But rain is not the only reason why cricket matches sometimes have to be halted. Snow, dazzling sunshine and a solar eclipse have all brought games to an early end. So have hedgehogs, pigs, snakes and cars on the pitch. But cricket’s love of the eccentric gave way to a truly disturbing interruption on Sunday when Delhi’s bad air pollution – which was 15 times the WHO’s recommended toxicity maximum – caused stops and starts to a test between India and Sri Lanka. With players forced to leave the game to vomit and Sri Lankans wearing anti-pollution masks on the field, this was a Delhi clean-up call. If India’s favourite sport can’t be played in the nation’s smog-laden capital, cricket in Delhi should be no-balled.
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