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Dhoni pitched off in Dambulla

The Sri Lankans walked off a sub-standard pitch in India late last year. On Saturday, it was the turn of a visibly upset India skipper MS Dhoni and his boys to walk off a seemingly dangerous pitch in Sri Lanka, reports Amol Karhadkar.

cricket Updated: Aug 15, 2010 01:17 IST
Amol Karhadkar

The Sri Lankans walked off a sub-standard pitch in India late last year. On Saturday, it was the turn of a visibly upset India skipper MS Dhoni and his boys to walk off a seemingly dangerous pitch in Sri Lanka. The only difference was Saturday’s incident took place on a pitch meant for practice.

The three 22-yard strips prepared by the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium groundsmen were to be used by teams for practice on non-match days.

Dhoni, usually considered Mr Cool, lost his composure once opener Dinesh Karthik was hit on his right thumb off a ball that rose awkwardly from full length.

Making his displeasure clear to coach Gary Kirsten, Dhoni opted for fielding practice in the outfield. The captain was batting in the nets for the first time after Monday but some youngsters who had used the strips over the last two days had already complained about their quality.

Kirsten then asked team manager Ranjib Biswal to speak to the local curator. “There is no way these wickets are close to those for international cricket,” a team source said. “Hopefully, tomorrow we will get better wickets than the ones we have got over the last three days.”