Thorpe criticises Lankans for telling tales | india | Hindustan Times
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Thorpe criticises Lankans for telling tales

Graham Thorpe criticised the Sri Lanka team on Friday for lodging an official complaint against Nasser Hussain during the first Test.

india Updated: Dec 12, 2003 19:48 IST
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England batsman Graham Thorpe criticised the Sri Lanka team on Friday for lodging an official complaint against Nasser Hussain during the first Test.

Sri Lanka said their off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan had been verbally abused by Hussain as he walked out to bat on Thursday.

"What goes on the field should stay on the field," Thorpe told reporters after the third day's play.

"Quite a few of us in the dressing room have taken stick off certain cricket teams over the years and kept our mouths shut about it."

Sri Lanka said Hussain had used expletives and called Muralitharan a "cheat" and a "chucker", but the former England captain was cleared by match referee Clive Lloyd due to lack of evidence.

Lloyd warned both teams that he would not tolerate further bad behaviour during an increasingly ill-tempered series.

"As cricketers we understand you have to take a bit from time to time," Thorpe said.

"Sometimes you can push it too far, but generally most players know where the line is. You don't have to run off and tell people about it."

Thorpe top-scored with 57 as England were bowled out for 294 in reply to Sri Lanka's 382 on Friday but the experienced left hander insisted that the touring side were not out of the game.

"It was a tough day - which you expect in Sri Lanka - but we were pretty pleased to get up to 300," said Thorpe.

"To force them off for bad light at the end is not a bad thing for us, it goes to show they know that we'll fight. They are not as confident as they'd like you to believe they are.

"We're hanging in there. They know that if we get quick wickets we're right back in there."

Sri Lanka coach John Dyson said his players remained totally focused on the cricket despite the controversy.

"We have been very focused throughout the series and we talked this morning about making sure that we maintain the focus that we have had," said Dyson.

"We will need to bat well and be very positive about the way that we approach the second innings to get somewhere between a 320 to 350 run lead."

Dyson defended Sri Lanka's decision to come off for bad light at 4.35pm when two slow bowlers were operating in tandem.

"We lost an hour tonight but we can pick that up tomorrow," he said. "Our thinking is that we are better taking better light tomorrow than dull light now."