Former Sri Lankan skipper and minister Arjuna Ranatunga adds fuel to Pallekele ODI controversy by requesting Sri Lankan supporters to not behave like how Indian spectators did in Cuttack. It seems like Ranatunga wanted to justify the spectators’ outrage against their struggling team by comparing them to what happened at Cuttack during 1996 World Cup Semi-final between India and Sri Lanka. The outrage itself was disheartening to witness but Ranatunga’s comments only made it worse.
Pallekele ODI was disrupted by the enraged crowd who threw bottles at the Sri Lanka fielders at the boundary, expressing their disappointment in the team which has been losing side on India’s tour of Sri Lanka. The umpires had to halt the match for almost half an hour due to the ruckus, meanwhile, Indian batsmen Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni rested in the middle of the ground.
Security was called up as the crowd could not be controlled and constantly threw bottles on the ground. The notorious crowd was cleared away by the security with 8 runs left for India to win. The players were called on the field once again in order to wrap up the match.
“Such incidents should not be repeated. Sri Lankans love cricket and they feel sad when we lose a match. We have made lots of sacrifices for cricket and those sacrifices had been made while losing lots of things. Every cricketer in our team is mentally depressed. Therefore, I request our cricket lovers not to behave like Indian spectators. We have a very good history and culture. Such misbehaviour is not accepted in our culture and history,” Ranatunga told Daily Mirror.
“Several cricketers had been summoned before the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) and I informed about it to President Maithripala Sirisena who promised to look into the matter”, he added.
Sri Lankan Cricket has been going through a tough phase as they are struggling against the visitors to even put up a strong fight. Only the second ODI saw India falter a bit to get past Sri Lanka’s score.