Kangadaran Mathivanan, Sri Lanka Cricket’s secretary, recently branded Adam Gilchrist’s insertion of a squash ball in his batting glove as “unethical”. Even more recently, the MCC (the keeper of all cricket laws) has said it was Kosha. Any and all batsman are welcome to give it a go. I wonder how many will? The MCC decision was hardly surprising considering that they have allowed a certain bowler (who shall remain nameless but I’m glad he didn’t take any wickets in the World Cup final) to chuck his way into the record books for more than a decade. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, hey?
Less surprising but still worthy of a raised eyerbrow was the attack by Mathivanan. The Sri Lanka cricket team under a former leader were well known for bad sportsmanship, cries of victimisation and churlish behaviour. I made comment previously of the class of Mahela Jayawardene at the post match speeches. Mahela didn’t make a mention of his team having to bat in the rain and the dark (not until Tony Cozier dragged it out of him). He stuck to congratulating and applauding the oppostion. It is a shame that Mathivana’s ungracious outburst has undermined Jayawardene’s diplomatic efforts.
It smells to me of one thing: Ranatunga. The words Ranatunga and acrimony are synonymous. Most Sri Lankan cricket public outcries, even to this day, stem from Arjuna Ranatunga and I can announce that this one is no different. Kangadaran Mathivanan was just the messenger. This morning, the hand written memo from Ranatunga to Mathivanan went on sale on eBay. Predictably, Ranatunga, the ICC, the MCC and the Sri Lankan cricket board are all up in arms. But what can you do? Free trade must prevail.