Aluthgamage’s Puswedilla | Sunday Observer

Aluthgamage’s Puswedilla

Puswedilla (Damp Squib) was a hit in theaters in Sri Lanka some years ago. But the recent Puswedilla Aluthgamage misfired so badly that he was fired by his own Wedilla. It set off a hornet’s nest that stung him badly and steps were sent flying.

Lesson leant is that in cricket you need to play a straight bat if you want to be respected. You can be dismissed cheaply if you try to be ambitious and play to the gallery and aim cheap shots. The cricket stars of yesteryear, especially the Mahelas and Sangas have toiled with blood, sweat and tears to retain the prestige of Sri Lanka cricket in theworld scene.

Callous and irresponsible utterances by actors in the gallery can backfire as it has done in the “Aluth” case that he will in the eye and minds of the millions of cricket lovers in Sri Lanka be relegated to the “parana “category and shoved into the dustbin of dubious history.

This is a good lesson to all who try to politicise the sacred art of sports that they will be ousted leg-before wicket and be back in the pavilion not knowing what hit them!

By the former Sports Minister alleging that the Sri Lanka cricket team ‘gifted’ the 2011 World Cup to India that was played in India for all to see, set not only the local cricketers who donned flannels in the final into a fiery tantrum but also the cricket houses in India and the cricket world.

Thankfully sanity has prevailed and now the inquiry board set up by Minister of Sports Dullas Alahapperuma who initially played the first stroke and admitted that there was no truth in the allegation that the final was ’gifted’ decided quite rightly to call off the fiasco concluding that no evidence on the allegation could be found.

The Anti Corruption Unit of the International Cricket Council after perusing the allegations has also rubbished Aluthgamage’s allegations probably enjoying a hearty laugh and informing the local authorities that it was all a hoax.

When Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa learned of Aluthgamage’s delivery that was sure to be called wide by the umpires who were going to adjudicate, it raised his ire and wanted Aluthgamage to rectify his statement. But Aluthgamage refused to change his stance and stay put on the wicket he had ignorantly prepared.

Even former Thomian rugby captain who knows sports and who has an ear to the ground in sports happenings here, Namal Rajapaksa, lashed out against unjust harassment of cricketers.

Namal had support coming from another former Sports Minister, this time from the opposition camp Harin Fernando who said that this madness must stop. Rightly so and it has finally ended.

Now it will be interesting to know what virus effected Aluthgamage to raise this stench after nine long years. It would not be wrong to speculate that he had been ‘gifted’ by a cricketing mafia to damage the good names of the cricketers, Sri Lanka Cricket, the game and most importantly the government and country.

Former Chairman of Selectors of that time Aravinda de Silva who was the first centurion in the 1995/96 World Cup that Sri Lanka won and Kumar Sangakkara the captain of the 2011 World Cup who brought great honour all round by being the first non-white to be elected Chairman of the formerly white dominated Marleybourne Cricket Club, have emerged with even more respect that they had hitherto commanded.

One of the opening batsmen of that 2011 World Cup Upul Tharanga was questioned. Vice captain of that team Mahela Jayawardena too volunteered to be questioned. But sanity prevailed before his offer was taken up.

I vividly remember that Saturday night cricket fever nine years ago in 2011 when Jayawardena scored that majestic century my Editor- in- Chief of the ‘Daily News’ and Sunday Observer Dinesh Weerawansa wanting me to do a feature on Jayawardena which I readily obliged and he gave the article a good spread in the Sunday Observer the next day.

Finally this ugly cup ‘gifting’ allegation must be put to sleep with the authorities concerned conducting an inquiry on the ‘nightmare bokku’ that Aluthgamage left through his legs and let him stew in his own fantasy land which turned out to be a nightmare.

Akila Dhananjaya recalled

The Sri Lankan selectors have recalled spinner Akila Dhananjaya back into training after he had the ignominy of being ‘called’ for a suspect action and suspended. It is said that he has gone through the various testing methods and has been cleared to indulge in his trade again. This is good news.

But as for the writer, except for Muttiah Muralitheran who suffered a similar fate but came back with his suspect action being cleared to continue, it would be interesting to see how Dhananjaya responds.

It is not easy for a bower once ‘called’ and corrected to get back to his wicket taking ways before being called. When continuing to bowl, in the back of his mind will be the psychological impact whether he would be ‘called’ again.

Umpires will keep a close watch on him and see how he goes. A slight change in his action and the unforgiving umpires will not hesitate to report him again which could be the end of his career much to his disappointment and his numerous supporters.

We hope and wish that Dhananjaya will continue without any hiccups and get back to his wicket taking ways because bowlers of his kind who bowl a cocktail of deliveries like he does will not come again that easy.

Coach Mickey Arthur will have a big responsibility to guide this youngster, give him the necessary encouragement and confidence to get back to wicket taking street.

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