Amazing thing happened yesterday in the One Day International match between India and Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was bowled out for 170 on a pitch helping swing bowlers. India was initially in trouble, lising 3 quick wickets but then was cruising towards victory with Sehwag battling brilliantly and with a steady control over his batting, almost against his own batting style.
India needed 5 to win with Sehwag on 99 and enough overs in hand. Sri Lankan off spinner Suraj Randiv bowled a ball which went for 4 byes as everybody including the keeper Kumar Sangakkara. Now Virendra Sehwag needed 1 for his 100 and India needed 1 to win. What happened next is shameful for Cricket in general and totally against spirit of the game. Sri Lankan captain instructed Randiv to bowl in such a way that Sehwag doesnt get to hit the ball, indirectly asking him to bowl a wide or a no-ball, so as to deny Sehwag his 100. Suraj Randiv did exactly the same, he bowled a big no-ball, so big that it looked it was deliberate, Sehwag came forward and hit it for 6 but then he was denied that six runs as India had won that match with 1 run from no-ball and thus inspite of making 105 Sehwag was left stranded on 99 not out.
The above act is simple unbeleivable in todays day and time, especially when Sri Lanka is known for their ‘fair play’. Sehwag was not amused but he did not mind it much but did mention in the press conference later that Sri Lankans did it deliberately and they had done similar things to Tendulkar in an earlier One day match played in Cuttack, some months before where Sachin was left stranded on 96 when Malinga bowled 4 wides. The Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara of course denied everything and admitted that it wasnt a fair thing to do. He defended his bowler. Later the Sri Lankan board members and then the Sri Lankan team including Suraj Randiv personally apologised to Sehwag for what they did, thus admitting that what they did was deliberate.
Later the stump camera audio tape revealed more. Sri Lankan captain Sangakkara was caught on tape asking Randiv to do the shameful act and deny Sehwag a century.
It hardly matters that Sehwag scored a century or not, India won the match of course with a bonus point and all is well after apology from the Lankan team, however his clearly destroys the myth that Sri Lankan team plays every game keeping ‘spirit of cricket’ in mind. The Indian media, ex players etc. of course furious at what Randiv did, some even asking ICC to investigate and fine him. Some call it the case of ‘spot fixing’ the match. Everybody agrees though that what Randiv and his captain did was shameful and should never have happened.
Here is the video of the event.