India gave Australia a taste of their own medicine: Ranatunga | cricket | Hindustan Times
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India gave Australia a taste of their own medicine: Ranatunga

cricket Updated: Jan 17, 2008 16:42 IST

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Having been a thorn in Australia's flesh during his playing days, former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga cannot hide his glee as India gives Ricky Ponting and his men a taste of their own medicine.

"I think this is the first time after I gave it back that Australia is now being paid back in their own coin," an amused Ranatunga told reporters on Thursday.

Although he felt being head of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), he should be diplomatic and politically correct, Ranatunga looked amused with Australia getting a tit-for-tat from the visiting Indian team in the ongoing series Down Under.

Sri Lanka's World Cup winning captain said over the last decade, there have been issues with the Australian cricket team but he advised India not to get distracted by their on-field antics and leave it to the boards of both the countries to resolve contentious matters.

"Whatever happened in Sydney was unpleasant but the Indian team should not lose their focus. They should leave it to the Board to sort out all these issues.

"When this kind of incidents happen, I think boards should step in to make things smooth," he said.

Although he himself once almost walked out with his team in the 1999 Adelaide Test when Muttiah Muralitharan was no-balled in the contentious match, Ranatunga said India did the right thing by continuing with the tour despite being the victim of some poor umpiring and the racism row involving Harbhajan Singh.

"I don't think pulling out would have been the right thing. I'm not a fan of that, though I almost did it in order to protect a colleague," he said.

The former captain said ICC should work closely with the Cricket Boards to address these issues.

Ranatunga was happy that India was not taking it lying down, but he insisted sledging had no place in cricket.

"Now even Australia is also complaining. I think it's important for the administrators to clean up the game. I think they should stop shouting and sledging in the ground.

"Everyone should play the game in true spirit. Cricket has been a gentleman's game and it should remain so," he said.

His former teammate Aravinda de Silva felt some of the players from both sides did not look mature enough in the ill-tempered Sydney Test.

"I think they behaved like kids. The best way to prove a point is to respond with a solid performance. India should focus on the job at hand and forget everything else," he said.

The former middle order mainstay felt Australia had become unpopular champions of the game.

"I think their arrogance is to be blamed for that," said de Silva, who, along with Ranatunga, was in the capital as ambassador of Sri Lanka tourism.

Ranatunga, meanwhile, advised all to take a cue from Lanka and involve former players in the running of the game.

"I always felt more and more cricketers, once they are through with their playing careers, should join the administration. We have Aravinda heading a cricket committee, comprising all former captains, which decides on cricketing issues. We don't allow officials take those calls.

"It's not just administration. I would like to see more and more former players as umpires and even curators," he said.