Well before the Cricket World Cup, due to many a reason, I decided not to write about Sri-Lankan Cricket.
This not the time to list them except to say, there are many who have never played or watched cricket except on TV (armchair cricket pundits) who have entered into cricket fray and making money at the expense of poor cricketers in the Asia subcontinent.
IPL can be taken as an extreme example but what I mention here is much more subtle and lot of politics involved.
Cricket is going to enter into a different era with all the contenders of the West except New Zealanders have been eliminated and gone home already.
I feel really sorry for Strauus, who played a gem of an innings at the beginning and showed all the signs of long winter of cricket and petered away in an almost burnt out or run out of steam fashion.
He has lot of cricket left in him and all the cricketers except a few in the team deserve the respect they deserve for trying out hard under extreme whether conditions. It is easy for the normally grumpy (politicians and diplomats included) Britishers who sit like potatoes in front of the TV with an ancient Axe in hand and try to destroy them.
I was expecting some unruly Sinhalayas with anger towards harbouring LTTE in their political and diplomatic folds make some unwelcome gestures towards the team. Nothing like that happened but they expected a real beating at the hands of Sri-Lankan cricketers.
When several catches were dropped, it was uneasy for everybody watching but England failed to capitalize on them but capitulated themselves.
Our boys were ready for Australians but since weather prevented it and India had done the honours, the cricketers were ready to pounce on England as an alternative.
It is as if we wanted England to score over 200 hundred (only a wishful thinking, catches were badly dropped) and getting two centuries was a record that is going to be in our memory for a long time.
As for Ricky Ponting unlike Strauus, time has come to say good bye to Asian Subcontinent and his century was glorious. We want to remember him for that century and as a cricketer of high caliber, somewhat steely like Steve Waugh, and not as a rugged Australian who lost the Ashes.
Good luck for his future.
For Graham Smith, I was thinking that they had a chance of lifting the cup but when they lost to England, I knew something nasty will happen eventually and I was actually banking on New Zealand to do that.
I like Smith’s demeanour very much and he was my most favorite captain of this world cup even surpassing Sanga for that category.
In my mind he made the mistake of opening the innings and he would have come down the order, may be one down or two down. If he was there in the middle when chips were down, unlike the younger players, the outcome would have been very different.
We are going to miss hm as the most amiable captain of the world cup.
Now there are only four of the captains left to prove their mettle and Daniel Vittory is an ace who may even challenge Sri-Lanka when chips are down.
Watch out for him. even with injuries.
He was of the same caliber as our Murali when injured and even though he was not our captain he (Murali) was the one who every opposition captain envied and every Sri-Lnkan captain revered, as a god send messenger of cricket.
He is our ambassador of cricket and long live his memories, only the good ones not the bad ones that come from Australia.