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Whodunnit? Stump mic adds to confusion

Even before Virender Sehwag wagged his tongue, referring to Suraj Randiv's no-ball as a "deliberate" ploy to deny the Indian opener a century, Kumar Sangakkara had swung into action.

cricket Updated: Aug 17, 2010 23:19 IST
Amol Karhadkar

Even before Virender Sehwag wagged his tongue, referring to Suraj Randiv's no-ball as a "deliberate" ploy to deny the Indian opener a century, Kumar Sangakkara had swung into action.

As soon as he reached the dressing room, the Sri Lanka skipper vented his frustration at his teammates. A visibly disappointed Sangakkara blasted his teammates for the unsporting and added to the misery of losing and conceding a bonus point to India.

No wonder that when 10 members of Sri Lanka's squad, all except the bowlers, went for an optional practice session on Tuesday afternoon, hardly anyone smiled.

But Sangakkara, a staunch follower of the spirit of cricket, himself was tangled in the controversy later in the day when it was reported that a stump microphone caught him shouting in Sinhala to Randiv just before he bowled: "don't give him a run."

Does this mean Sangakkara was the director of the no-ball act? "How can you say that?" an insider in the Lankan camp retorted. "Just because he asked the bowler not to concede a single to put some pressure on Sehwag doesn't mean he asked him to bowl a no-ball."

However, with Randiv and his board having tendered an apology to Sehwag and his teammates, it's certain that it was a deliberate act. But Randiv is far from having cemented his place in any of the three formats, so it's highly unlikely that he would have done it on his own.

That brings us back to the million-dollar question. If not Sangakkara, then whose instructions was Randiv following? "It could be one of the other two senior batsmen, anyway it's mentioned in the manager's report," the team source said.

But Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Nishantha Ranatunga refused to comment on the issue. "I cannot tell you anything today, maybe tomorrow," said Ranatunga.

Take it for granted that when Sangakkara once again interacts with the media on Wednesday, on the eve of their tie against New Zealand, he will be repeatedly be asked: "Whodunnit?"