Randiv says sorry as no-ball issue snowballs

Indians decide to move on even as Sri Lankan board orders enquiry

Randiv says sorry as no-ball issue snowballs

It is learnt from reliable sources that the manager has submitted a report to Sri Lanka Cricket which states, among other things, that Randiv was instructed by someone — reportedly Tillakaratne Dilshan — to bowl the no-ball. SLC will decide what sanctions are to be imposed on the instructor, be it in terms of a fine or a suspension or both.
A contrite Randiv had summoned up enough courage to walk into Sehwag’s room and offer a personal apology on Tuesday morning, an acknowledgement Sehwag himself made on his Twitter page, to set off the chain of events for the day. Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara, obviously disturbed by what had happened the previous night, sought out Indian coach Gary Kirsten and expressed his regrets as all efforts were made to dissipate whatever ill-will might have accrued.

India chose not to make a huge hue and cry. Sehwag had spoken his mind on Monday night and termed the act ‘deliberate’, but the Indian management wisely refrained from pushing the issue any further.

Team manager Ranjib Biswal revealed that SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga had called him up to express his regret at the no-ball incident. “He expressed his regret officially and asked me to convey it to the Indian team, particularly to Sehwag,” Biswal said. "On behalf of Team India, we have accepted Nishantha’s regret and we hope both the countries’ cricketing relations go forward.

“Randiv himself went to Sehwag’s room and apologised for his action. Basically, it was done in the spur of the moment and once that action seeped in, people realised that they had made a mistake and they have come forward and expressed their apology.”

Biswal chose to downplay the whole episode. “If you go by the rules, there is no violation of cricket rules. But when it comes to spirit of cricket and sportsmanship, one feels slighted by these things. Since they have expressed their regret and apologised for their action, we should put an end to this episode.”

On their part, SLC issued a statement announcing the formation of the Tennekoon probe panel. “We are perturbed and disconcerted by news reports which indicate that Sehwag had been deliberately deprived of reaching a century by Randiv bowling a no-ball in the last over.

“Sri Lanka Cricket being winners of the ICC Spirit of the Game award for two consecutive years is extremely proud of its team and their achievements and conduct both on and off the field. As such, it is necessary to clear the good name of Sri Lanka Cricket and Sri Lanka as a sporting nation, on a priority basis.

“In this endeavour, SLC has requested national team manager Anura Tennekoon to conduct an immediate internal inquiry and forward a comprehensive report in this regard, where action will be taken accordingly.”

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