Dambulla, Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka has established itself as one of the strongest team at home over the last 2 decades. In most of the test or ODI series they have either emerged winner or have managed a draw. The SL players have emerged as the champions of many home series. But, with the 2nd major incident reported against a SL player, and SL almost out of the tournament, one can not help thinking if Micromax Triangular Series is jinxed for SL.
The Micromax Test series and Triangular series of 2010 in Sri Lanka have become famous for reasons beyond cricket. Initially the 3-test series this year against India was dogged by controversies over Sri Lanka trying to kill Test Cricket by providing dead tracks (2nd test vs India and high scoring other tests with almost nothing for the bowlers). Then, the triangular series, for which Sri Lanka were the front-runner, is not only almost certain to have the finals without the hosts, but also the hosts are facing 2nd case against their players. After Randiv and Dilshan malicious episode, it is the captain Sangakkara in question.
Sangakkara has been reported for level 2 breach of ICC code of conduct in the washed out match against New Zealand in the triangular series. Both teams needed a win. SL was more desperate as they did not want to wait for the final match, that too against India who have already defeated them in the first group match. But, they could not fight the rains and had to be content with just 2 points, pushing them almost on the verge of exit.
Sangakkara was taking a quick single in the 27th over bowled by Nathan McCullum when he collided with the bowler. The bowler did not consider it an accidental collisiont and reported the incident to the umpire immediately. The umpire took it to the higher authorities and level 2 breach of ICC Conduct was reported against him. The result will be known soon. But, this is a major set-back for the Sri Lankan team which has won ICC Fair Play award twice and is known for their positive play.
Earlier, as everyone to whom media (not Cricket) matters must have known that Randiv and Dilshan were punished for breaching ICC’s Game Spirit (the spirit which is odourless and can not be judged factually) in the match against India for conniving to bowl a no-ball against Sehwag who was waiting on 99 runs to complete his century and score the winner for India. The SL Cricket Board, without any official complaint being lodged by Sehwag or BCCI, acted on its own to punish the guilty. Randiv was not only handed over one-match suspension, but with Dilshan, he was also forced to forfeit his match fee.
For the sake of Cricket, and considering the past exceptional positive sportsmanship of Sangakkara, all cricket fans will pray that he does not get any punishment. SL is in unprecendented trouble.