Fixing row continues to chase Sangakkara
He is one of Sri Lankan cricket’s all-time greats, but at the moment Kumar Sangakkara’s career is passing through a turbulent phase. The World Cup final on April 2 was supposed to be the crowning glory of his career but the game has triggered a dip in his fortunes.Updated: May 03, 2011 00:31 IST
He is one of Sri Lankan cricket’s all-time greats, but at the moment Kumar Sangakkara’s career is passing through a turbulent phase. The World Cup final on April 2 was supposed to be the crowning glory of his career but the game has triggered a dip in his fortunes.
Since he lost the final, it has been a rough ride for the left-handed batsman. His decisions during the defeat to India at the Wankhede Stadium are still being questioned by experts back home and the controversy has followed him into the IPL.
On Sunday, his team Deccan Chargers crashed to their fifth defeat in eight games. Looking at MS Dhoni, his opposite number with CSK, Sangakkara would be ruing how, with a bit of luck, he could have been in the India skipper’s shoes.
No stopping MSD
Dhoni’s graph has soared since he stole Sangakkara’s thunder in the World Cup. It was the same script on Sunday as well with Dhoni leading CSK to their fifth win in eight games.
In fact, the CSK versus Chargers game was also a tale of the two captains. Comparisons are inevitable when both happen to be ’keeper-batsmen.
Dhoni versus Sangakkara is also a clash of two styles. The Sri Lankan is a meticulous, thoughtful planner while Dhoni an instinctive gambler.
All of Dhoni’s gambles paid off in their last two meetings while Sangakkara’s decisions have backfired. Dhoni has stuck to the principle of not disturbing a winning combination while Sangakkara rang in wholesale changes in the final, replacing as many as four players from the team that won the semifinals. Against CSK on Sunday, he dropped the world's premier fast bowler, Dale Steyn, with disastrous consequences.
Sangakkara has had to endure the jibes of some of his predecessors with former captain Hashan Tillakaratne being the most vocal. Last week, Tillakaratne cast aspersions on Sangakkara’s decisions in the final and claimed match-fixing has been plaguing Sri Lankan cricket since the 1990s.
Sangakkara reacted to it on Sunday: “Hashan’s played the game for years and he’s captained Sri Lanka as well. So it’s interesting to see what he has to say. If he has anything more than allegations, it’s dangerous to throw names around.
“He should work very closely with the ACSU (Anti Corruption and Security Unit) of the ICC and the home authorities to ensure that something's done about it if there’s any foundation to those claims. But beyond that I don’t think it makes any big sense to the
players playing now.”
The Sri Lankan sports minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, ordered a police inquiry into the allegations by Tillekaratne and another ex-skipper Arjuna Ranatunga. He held a meeting with the Sri Lanka Cricket Interim Committee and decided to ask for a CID inquiry.
The board expressed concern over the comments and appealed in a statement that any such comments be made only “with substantial evidence and utmost responsibility”. It expressed surprise the issue has been raised so many years after the incidents were alleged to have taken place.