Sri Lankan captain upset over playing World Cup match in India

By Staff Writers

Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara said that Sri Lanka should be playing all their World Cup group matches at home, like co-hosts India and Bangladesh. © AFP/Lakruwan WANNIARACHCHI.

March 6, 2011 (Island Cricket): Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara expressed his dismay over the scheduling of his side’s group match against New Zealand at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium on March 18.

“Why should we play in India against New Zealand when we are the hosts,” Sangakkara asked reporters after a training session at the Pallekelle Cricket Stadium in Kandy today.

Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe are in the luscious hill capital for the 26th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 tournament, to be played on March 10.

“We were surprised when we learnt that we will have to travel to Mumbai to play the game against New Zealand," Sangakkara said.

“I was under the impression that as hosts we play all our matches at home.

“India and Bangladesh, who are also host countries, play all their matches at home. Why should we be exposed to alien conditions?”

After Sri Lanka’s loss to Pakistan and the abandonment of their group match against Australia on Saturday, the co-hosts are under pressure to notch up wins in their remaining matches – against New Zealand and Zimbabwe.

"It does not matter where we finish, as long as we qualify,” the Sri Lankan captain said.

“We will give our best in the coming matches.

“Playing the New Zealand game [in India] is beyond our control and you can't change that now. We need to be up for the task now.”

The 2011 World Cup fixtures were announced in November 2009 and Muttiah Muralitharan was the first to highlight the strange scheduling.

During a press conference in Colombo on February 10 this year, Muralitharan said he was surprised to be playing in India, when the other two co-hosts enjoyed home advantage for their group matches.

“We are one of the co-hosts and I don’t know what happened. It’s a surprise for me to see us playing in India,” he said at the time.

“If we play India in India that’s fine and playing Bangladesh in Bangladesh is also fine, but why should we give [away] a home game to someone else?

“It’s a mystery for me.”

With media reports in India revealing that a laptop with data relating to the Wankhede Stadium had been stolen, the secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) told The Sunday Times newspaper in Sri Lanka last week that his administration had raised concerns over the safety of Sri Lankan players in Mumbai with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Indian officials.

Sri Lanka are scheduled to play New Zealand in the 38th match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 on March 18 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

© Island Cricket


Buzz Killington's picture

Sanga don't worry. In fact you should be happy. This is the same pitch as the final is being played study it as much as possible.

louis Killkenny's picture

er, same ground, but many not be the same pitch. Still, nice opportunity to practice in the venue.

Chabi's picture
Member since:
7 December 2010
Last activity:
5 years 15 weeks

yep sanga,,,it gonna be help in us in the final....

Gangster's picture
Member since:
29 August 2009
Last activity:
3 years 6 weeks

It is a another act of balls less cricket administrators. Shame on them. Even Bangladesh has more powers than our cricket board.

Bloody Indians trying to spoil our w/c campaign. Hope they will play their q/finals or S/ finals in Colombooooooo.

gayang3's picture

Stop crying and whining sanga, we should be happy that we get to play in india. Thumping people at home and then having to play quarters, semis and finals in india is not going to be fun...

SHREEE's picture

Regardless of the results in the world cup, SLC Board should be sacked immediately upon completing world cup.They have done numerous blunders in many issues.The latest issue was the food provided by SLC to 3500 Policemen on duty for the last match was not suitable for consumption. The food issue is a infamous-long running scandal in SLC. SLC spend a lot of money every month in this regards.Private contractors say " Kick-backs" made it difficult for them to maintain the quality.Arjuna tried to establish proper system in every section but relevant beneficiaries made sure he was out.Giving the srilanka's match against New zealand to India was a real blunder thanks to ignorant attitude by our SLC.It really indicate the efficiency of our SLC.

On the other hand,the fixture was out well in advance. Why even Sanga couldn't make his point at that time..! We will never get a captain like Arjuna again..If he was there, these things should have never happened...!

Sujan's picture
Member since:
27 December 2008
Last activity:
5 hours 24 min

Whats the point of holding this match in Mumbai. Mystery till date. Anyways Mumbai crowd is lucky to have a Sri Lankan match there. I wish it was in Bangalore, where I could've watched it peacefully.

Marcian's picture
Member since:
8 December 2010
Last activity:
2 days 5 hours

I completely agree with Shree. But top officials of SLC will not get sacked, thats for sure! Infact, two of them - DS and Suraj - might be bestowed with civilian honour award 'Deshabadu' after the world cup.

I think none of the blunders would have happened if Duleep Mendis was still CEO of SLC. DS got rid of him!

The world cup schedule was out many moons ago, there is no point complaining now!

Marcian's picture
Member since:
8 December 2010
Last activity:
2 days 5 hours

I mean 'Deshabandu'. That will happen if we win the world cup!

Stormy's picture
Member since:
15 January 2011
Last activity:
13 hours 28 min

Yes its a bit late now and yes it could actually be an avantage given the final will be played there but it does raise a valid question - how and why did this happen given SL are the co-hosts? Given the lack of valid reasoning by any authority here are the possibilities (1)It was forward thinking on part of SLC to enable the team to have a look and feel of the finals venue in advance (2) ICC forced SLC's hand to ensure BCCI were given a specific number of games in India as part of the WC deal (3)Officials from ICC/BCCI/SLC personally benefited by this move.

Well if I had to put my money on this I guess it would have to be (3) and the there would be no money on (1) as I just dont see SLC having that sort of forward thinking abilities.

What ever the reason it would be nice to know why the co-hosts are playing a game 'away' when they just purpose built two new venues for the WC!!!

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