Home > Features >

Was it in spirit of cricket, Mr Sangakkara, to protect Mahela from possible ban?

Was it in spirit of cricket, Mr Sangakkara, to protect Mahela from possible ban?

Kumar Sangakkara (second from left) substitutes Mahela Jayawardene as captain in the 2012 World T20 game against England. Is this the same man who lectured at the 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey about playing the game in the right spirit? © Getty Images

By Vincent Sunder

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene has been fined for maintaining a slow over rate in the ICC World T20 Championship Super Eight game against West Indies. When their next game came up against England, what do we see? Kumar Sangakkara, and not captain Mahela Jayawardene, walks out for the toss, since “Mahela has lost three tosses in a row”!

It dawns later that this act was just an insurance to protect Mahela, since another infringement would mean a ban on the player for one game. Someone who wanted, in his 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey lecture, to “protect the game’s global governance from narrow self-interest, and more aggressively root out corruption” and said “the spirit of cricket can and should remain a guiding force for good within society” wore a different hat, took the coin and blatantly lied when he stated the lost tosses were the reason for his turning up. Credit to England and Stuart Broad, who was also in a position similar to that of Jayawardene, when England were docked for slow over rates in their previous game against New Zealand.

For some reason, the toss fiasco when Kumar Sangakkara called first and the confusion thereafter that led to the unprecedented re-toss comes to mind again.

Now, what does the other ‘spirit of cricket’ messiah Tony Greig has to say? On Twitter his comments are “Good thinking by SL – they don’t want their captain banned for a match if they are fined again for slow over rate”, and “SL entitled to change captains – those who are critical don’t fully understand – need to have played a bit and even then not all of us agree”

Whilst the context of the “even then not all of us agree” is not clear, this is the reaction from the Sri Lankan Tourism Ambassador, who in June 2011 while delivering the 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey lecture said, “The spirit of cricket is not just about adhering to the laws of the game. It’s about something far more enduring, adhering to a set of values that can elevate you above the hum drum, above the cynicism that can drag you down if you let it”.

You can talk, but simply cannot walk when there is something at risk in a game of cricket! Right? Spirit be damned and simply go by rules. If hypocrisy needed two living examples, this tournament gave us two iconic examples.

Super Slow Overs and Substitutions! 
With the excitement of the upcoming Super Over, also came an annoyingly long wait for the action to begin. The International Cricket Council (ICC) would do well to bring about changes on how the Super Overs would be conducted.

For starters, have teams nominate their “Super Over Team” along with the playing eleven team sheet at the start of the game.

This would take away the advantage of bringing in a ‘performer’ after the game, but a rule that applies equally to both sides should not cause any heartburn to either side.

Stipulate the break between the close of the scheduled match and the time for bowling the Super Over so that we don’t have to wait eternally for teams to debate and discuss. Quite simply, let teams be prepared for this eventuality.

Finally, ban teams from brining in substitutes for the Super Over. West Indies conveniently substituted Sunil Narine once the decision was made to use Marlon Samuels as the bowler. On the lines of not changing the field for the ‘free hit’ simply state that the eleven that fielded the last over of the regular game will be on the field. Simply don’t give into explanations that an injury occurred between close of the scheduled time and the start of the Super Over, the only exception being a player who genuinely was injured while batting after his side fielded first. Quite clearly, very few gentlemen play this game these days.

To Mankad or Not?

Any why is Mankading a wrong thing, dear Chris Gayle and Mitchell Starc? Will be interesting to see how they go if the opposition needs two runs to win of the last ball of the World Cup T20 semi-final!

(Vincent Sunder aspired to play Test cricket, but had to struggle to play ‘gully’ cricket! He managed a league side to title triumph in the KSCA tournaments. He was debarred from umpiring in the gully games after he once appealed vociferously for a caught-behind decision when officiating as an umpire! After two decades in the corporate sector, he became an entrepreneur with the objective of being able to see cricket matches on working days as well. Vincent gets his ‘high’ from cricket books and cricket videos and discussing cricket)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad


West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts


Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test


Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on day two of second Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Mohammad Azharuddin’s son included in UP One-Day squad for Vijay Hazare Trophy

Sri Lanka women’s senior player accuses selector of asking for sexual favours

Karnataka enter SK Acharya Memorial Trophy final

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Wriddhiman Saha fit for first ODI

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Cuttack curator says “dew factor” will come into play

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here