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Dhammika Prasad regrets infamous run-in at Colombo with Ishant Sharma

Dhammika Prasad, who had a heated face-off with Ishant Sharma when India last played Sri Lanka in Colombo, says he regrets the incident because it set a bad example to youngsters.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Aug 03, 2017 20:47 IST
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Sanjjeev K Samyal
Hindustan Times, Colombo
India vs Sri Lanka,India national cricket team,Sri Lanka national cricket team
Dhammika Prasad and Ishant Sharma had an infamous run-in the last time India played Sri Lanka in Colombo. (AP)

Compared to the last time, the absence of a contest in this series has been glaring. The hosts have been reduced to whipping boys. It is in sharp contrast to 2015 when the teams squared up at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground.

Not only was it a series decider, there was the face-off between Ishant Sharma and Dhammika Prasad. The confrontation between the two fast bowlers reached a boiling point in the second innings.

It had sent the TRPs soaring, but looking back, Dhammika, who plays for Sinhalese Sports Club, laments that it made for ugly viewing.

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“It was an emotional outburst. When you are playing, you have to play with passion. I want to win matches for my country, and I am always trying to give 100 % and do something different. That’s what happened in that series,” says Prasad, who has taken 75 wickets in 25 Tests, and is recovering from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him for more than a year.

Getting carried away

Talking about the trigger for the ugly clash, the 34-year-old said: “When our guys were batting, there was a little bit of argument and it was in my mind when Ishant came to bat, so I fired some bouncers at him. When I went to bat I got a nasty bouncer from him. There was something going on between the two of us…”

Did it reach a stage where it could have got physical? “I am a really calm guy, I don’t generally tell anything to anybody when I am bowling, I respect the opposition, but when somebody comes and behaves like that (provoke), then you will naturally react.

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“Afterwards, I realised it is not a good example for the kids. It was not really a good incident,” added Dhammika, who had removed Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar in the first innings on his Test debut in 2008.

Chase to dressing room

The shocking sight was Dhammika chasing Ishant all the way to the dressing room at the end of the Indian innings. According to reports, the Sri Lankan support staff intervened to diffuse the situation, pushing Dhammika into the dressing room.

“When he got out, he still kept doing that (provoking). He said something to Dimuth (Karunaratne) and passed a comment on me. I told him, ‘you can’t do something like that once outside the boundary. This is a game, inside the boundary is fine but you can’t cross the boundary and do that’.”

Have they patched up? “I am not the kind to take things outside the ground. I am always okay after the game. We’re not enemies, everyone wants to win the game for their country.

“After the game we wished each other. India are one of my favourite sides, I love the way they are playing.

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“Actually, I am not an arrogant character, I am calm but when something happens (provokes me), I have to react, that’s what happened in that game. It’s not a good example we set for the kids.”

His advice for Ishant? “When you are playing, you have to respect the opposition too, when you are playing every one wants to win but you have limits and you can’t go beyond that. You are a fast bowler, you have to dominate. Still, you have to remain calm.”

First Published: Aug 03, 2017 20:29 IST