Mahela rubbishes Richardson remarks

Mahela Jayawardene took a strong exception to International Cricket Council CEO Dave Richardson’s comments that the strip provided for the semifinal match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan wasn’t an ideal one.

Sri Lanka defended a small total of 139 to emerge 16-run winners as spinners from both sides called shots on a wearing track.

“The ICC controls the wickets not Sri Lanka Cricket,” said Jayawardene reacting to the accusation. “They schedule the matches on each strip. I don’t know what Richardson is talking about. If you think it was heavily loaded in our favour, I thought Pakistan had three best spinners in world cricket going around in (Shahid) Afridi, (Saeed) Ajmal and (Mohammad) Hafeez. It’s (the criticism) mistaken because when you have that kind of quality spinners (in opposition) why would you want to prepare a wicket to suit them? I had two spinners in my team -- Rangana (Herath) and Ajantha (Mendis) – and I didn’t have a third spinner who is Jeeven Mends who has hardly bowled in this tournament. It was an even contest,” he elaborated.

Richardson, in the same vein, tried to defend the curator saying that conditions were same for both teams.  “Ideally, we need to ensure that a pitch doesn't change its condition from one innings to next one. Yes, the pitch used in the first semi-final wasn't an ideal wicket for T20 format as there was too much assistance to spinners. (But) There was advantage for both the teams and Sri Lankan spinners took better advantage of the situation. Having said that, I spoke to the curator and he said that wicket was too dry to his liking," Richardson remarked.

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