Sanga questions procedure

Skipper critical of trying only one player for Code of Conduct breach

For the second successive time, the articulate Sri Lankan captain handled himself brilliantly, cocking a snook at Nathan McCullum and obliquely questioning the procedure under which he alone was tried for, and adjudged not guilty of, breaching the Code of Conduct.

“In a situation like that, it should be either both players or the video footage should be looked at,” Sangakkara said of his unintended physical contact with McCullum while turning for a second run which necessitated a Level 2 charge being slapped on him.

“The bowler moves in the line of a batsman and the batsman has no way to avoid contact. If he does, he can be run out. Sometimes, bowlers may tend to do it to deny the batsmen being comfortable and going for the second. That’s bit of speculation. After viewing the footage, the match referee (Alan Hurst) didn’t find anything wrong.

“The way it happened yesterday, I had no way of avoiding the collision. I tried my best to make sure the bat was away, otherwise I would have done him an injury had I gone straight into him. I managed to avoid that, though even at the last moment, he was moving my way.

“On my last two steps, for some reason, he was obstructing my way. I don’t know whether it was done purposely. When I touched down, there was some contact. When that happened, my head had also turned the other way, looking at the ball. He took offence and complained to the umpire.

“The three Sri Lankan umpires (including the fourth umpire) told the match referee that I was at fault and not McCullum. But the match referee saw all visuals and decided that I was not at fault. The match referee did ask me if McCullum did it intentionally, I said I didn’t want to comment on any other player, I wanted to comment only on my situation. I made it clear that there was no malice and it was unintentional. He saw the truth in it.”

Sangakkara admitted that it was disappointing for him, a known promoter of playing the game in the right spirit, to defend himself in front of the match referee. “When I was dismissed and went to the dressing room, the reaction of my manager and the coach was that it was difficult to understand how McCullum would get away with it. When we got the call, it was the other way around!

“But it was nice to see how Alan Hurst saw it. He was competent in taking the right decision. I am not saying it because the decision went my way, but how he it handled was nice to see. We always try and play in the right spirit. If we make a mistake, we always take responsibility. We don’t try and hide behind the press or hide behind our Board.”

The Sri Lankan skipper once again shot down the theory that too much was being made of the spirit of the game. “At the end of the day, it’s a perception, it’s an idea,” he offered. “In Sri Lanka, when we play cricket at school, we are taught to not to argue with the umpire.

When I was young, there was punishment for anything that contravened that spirit. When that’s the way you are brought up, it’s important that you do it even in the fiercest of competitions. You can be the best cricketer in the world, but if it you don’t have the respect of being a good person, I don’t think anyone will value that.”

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