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Unsporty act by Kiwis

The New Zealand cricketers are tagged the 'Black Caps' and the best award one can give them is a 'Black Mark' after their unsporting act, where they ran out an innocent Muttiah Muralitharan who was only leaving his crease to congratulate his partner Kumar Sangakkara who had made one of the finest hundreds seen in Test Cricket.

It was an incident that could well have been avoided for the sake of this wonderful game which has given many thrilling moments to the participants and those watching.

Today with so much of big money to be won, winning has become everything, that players have resorted to winning hook or by crook. It is sad. But that is how the game goes today.

In the good old days when one takes to sport he is told - not to hit below the belt, not to hit a man when he is down - to play a straight bat, etc. But today where are these virtues?

The big and tempting money has knocked all these virtues into a cocked hat.

In this run out incident what I cannot understand is the double standards adopted by the New Zealanders.

When there was a similar incident and which is worth reiterating where former Australian captain Greg Chappell asked his brother Trevor Chappell to bowl an underarm delivery in a one-day international against New Zealand when all hell broke loose with the Kiwis shouting from every roof top that it was not done and not in keeping with the spirit of the game.

The Kiwis were so livid that they even demanded that cricketing ties between the two countries be done away with. Even to this day, the Kiwis are angry about that incident.

On that day Greg Chappell was playing to the rules. But they stuffed him and his brother Trevor. But now the Kiwis indulge in something similar to what Greg did. and say it is justified because it was legal and within the rules. Come, come Kiwis please understand that double standards have no place in this time honoured game.

It is better to lose honourably than to win disgracefully.

After the incident I was the only and lonely Sri Lankan journalist in the media box listening to the arguments for and against that ugly act by wicket keeper Brendon McCallum by the Kiwi media and made my thoughts known, it was soothing when one of the famed radio commentators Garth Gallioway walked up to me and apologised for the incident.

Warren Lees the former Kiwi wicket keeper and David Trist, another Kiwi cap and former national coach, who are also on radio here did not agree with what had happened and were sad for it.

However, one thing is certain after the incident and that is that the Second Test, the 20 Twenties and the one-day internationals will not be contested in the best of spirits, nor will all future tours. But the Kiwis could rest assured that if the Lankans are faced with a similar situation, they will not take off the bails and appeal, because for them it is the game that matters.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardena gave that assurance, in his after the Test media appearance.

The Sri Lanka cricketers who are all disappointed and rightly so ask that if Kumar Sangakkara gave Nathan Astle a reprieve in similar circumstances at the ICC Trophy in India, why did the Kiwis not reciprocate the good sportsmanship, but be cruel this time round.



Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Sri Lanka

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