Dinesh Chandimal-led Sri Lankan side were seen wearing masks while fielding, citing reasons of smog, after Lunch on the second day of the third and the final Test against India at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi. That move from Sri Lanka did not go well with former Indian opener Virender Sehwag, who lashed out at the tourists for their immature act, calling it a pre-planned strategy from the touring side.
Although, the commentators Sanjay Manjrekar and Russel Arnold agreed it will get difficult to play with masks, especially while bowling. After seeing Sri Lankan players' drama, Indian skipper Virat Kohli decided to declare at 536 for 7 just after his dismissal. And even Umpires Nigel Llong and Joel Wilson were discussing the air quality with the Sri Lankan player after Kohli’s innings declare call.
According to a report in DNA, Virender Sehwag told a TV channel, “It was all a strategy against Virat Kohli. They wanted to stop him as it seemed that he was inching towards his triple century. They could have requested the BCCI to host the match in some other city two days before the match if they felt uncomfortable. But it seems like it was all a plan to stop Kohli from reaching 300 runs.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator further explained, “When they came to bat, they didn’t wear masks. Did the pollution level reduce all of a sudden then? It was the same. Indian players batted in the same condition and they were all good. This is not the first time that Sri Lankans behave like this. In 2010, they bowled no-ball while was batting on 99 and we needed 1 run to win.”
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He also believes that the on-field umpires should give their report to the sport’s governing body (ICC) regarding the matter as it was not like a sportsmanship conduct made by the Sri Lankan players.
Sehwag concluded by saying, “This is not sportsmanship conduct. Match referee should give his report to the ICC regarding the matter that went down.”