Unsporty act by Kiwis
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
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
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
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.