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Wanindu - Worthy Wildcard?

26 February 2024 09:28 pm - 19     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By: Harsha Amarasinghe


Feb. 26 (Daily Mirror) - Wanindu Hasaranga has already become one of the most popular Sri Lankan captains in the recent past just a few games into his new tenure as the skipper of the Sri Lanka T20 team.   

Sri Lanka may have lost their third T20 against Afghanistan last week, but the manner in which the team was able to play, has clear indication that under Hasaranga, Sri Lanka would not mind taking an aggressive approach against any team.   

There was however, an incident which appears to become one of the talking points at the conclusion of the T20 game which Sri Lanka lost where one of the on-field umpires in Lyndon Hannibal failed to call a clear no-ball on the height. This triggered a very angry reaction from the newly-appointed captain who had a go at Hannibal as the teams were shaking hands. The leg spinner then went on to take a swipe at the umpire during his post-match press conference when he stated that the umpire needs to find a job in another field.   

This did not go down very well with the International Cricket Council (ICC) who have now suspended Hasaranga for a couple of T20 Internationals which will see him on the sidelines for the first two T20s against Bangladesh who have somehow become Sri Lanka’s arch-rival now.  

However, on the other hand, the Sri Lankan fans have been fully supportive of Hasaranga’s behaviour. The majority of them, appears to think that the skipper spoke for all the Sri Lankan fans during the controversial press conference.   

This raise the question whether Hasaranga is a worthy wildcard to captain the national team. 

Theoretically, there is no way one could justify his conduct given that cricket is a gentlemen’s game after all. Having said so, the game has changed so much over the last few decades.  

For instance, Virat Kohli may not be considered one of the nicest lads in cricket, but that doesn’t stop him from going down as the greatest batsman of all times, at least in ODIs.   

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were true gentlemen of the game - they played the game in the right spirit without causing much controversy - despite their glorious careers none of them were able to lift a World Cup as captain. Lasith Malinga only other hand, played the game slightly differently.

The fiery fast bowler did not shy away from being blunt. Especially, with the local media he has had a few run-ins. Yet no one could take away the fact that he is the only other Sri Lankan captain after Arjuna Ranatunga to lift a World Cup (2014).  

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan became Sri Lanka’s public enemy number 1 after he opted to controversially ‘time out’ Angelo Mathews during the 50-over World Cup that concluded recently. As much as people hate it, that was one moment that decided Bangladesh were going to ICC Champions Trophy next year and Sri Lanka are not.   

Hasaranga may not play the game in the spirit of Sangakkara or Rahul Dravid, he may not always get his decisions absolutely right, but under his captaincy Sri Lanka team will do everything possible to get the W.   

The former Richmond College star player was never groomed as a captain, but he currently leads a team which has at least five former skippers in Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Janith Perera, Kusal Mendis (ODI) and Charith Asalanka (Under-19).  

Hasaranga may be different from others, but he is proving his class with the bat and ball while captaining the team. Perhaps it’s time the selectors give him enough time to do what Lasith Malinga did as the captain.   


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  Comments - 19

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  • Hannibal became Cannibal Tuesday, 27 February 2024 01:39 AM

    We all cricket fans with Hasaranga, a rare captain in Arjuna's mould.The shocking fact here is it was our own umpire who complained against him knowing jolly well Hasanga would be sacked with the WC just round the corner. The incident was after the game

    Bandu Tuesday, 27 February 2024 05:22 AM

    No balls on front foot can be referred to the third umpire. Why did not the on-field umpires refer to him on an appeal by Fielding Captain for waist high ball..

    Ram Tuesday, 27 February 2024 07:10 AM

    One must first build up a reputation to be forceful. This Hasaranga brat without much international exposure behaving in the manner he did will not have much weight. He has to learn a lot from this exposure. Had he made a written complaint as laid in the rules it would have been looked into and he too would have received better publicity on the ruling

    Ram Tuesday, 27 February 2024 07:14 AM

    This reminds me of Sanga getting out for 199 runs when the umpire made a mistake. As a true gentleman he left the field. Umpire realised his mistake and apologised to Sanga when the umpire returned to the pavilion. Hasaranga has a lot to learn from that.

    Ram Tuesday, 27 February 2024 07:18 AM

    Arjuna stood-up to the umpire on Murali issue. Arjuna had Captained many matches at the time and was known in the cricketing fields that he was no chicken. He knew what he was talking and that the umpire was attempting to crush Murali's career as a super bowler. He won at the end

    Ruwan Tuesday, 27 February 2024 07:39 AM

    Agreed. But Wanidu is also an ambassador of the country. I would suggest training him to be aggressive, and diplomatic at the same time which would make his comments more acceptable, and effective. Preventing suspensions. Communication skill is a must these days.

    Jude Tuesday, 27 February 2024 07:53 AM

    Hey Harsha Amarasinghe, what happened to Umpires Word is Law !!???? This is what happens when low class low-level lowlife writers like you justifying low class low-level act by Hasaranga. Even The entire SL fans says what Hasaranga did was right, well they all wrong!! Don't ever justify such low class acts and low level behavior, period!!

    Jude Tuesday, 27 February 2024 08:21 AM

    Okay let's say umpire Made a mistake those umpires allowed to make mistakes. It wasn't T20 world Cup finals or series decider it was a dead rubber contest!! Can't understand why Hasaranga making a big issue. This is a clear indication when you appoint a captain from low class low-level with shallow minded background you expect this kind of lowlife behavior.

    DOT Tuesday, 27 February 2024 09:02 AM

    But somebody give him a lesson! Such corrections must come from schools and homes.

    Gamini Jayaweera Tuesday, 27 February 2024 09:03 AM

    No matter whether one is a great player or not. If one is not disciplined enough to manage one’s anger and behaves like a third grade politician who uses bad language to condemn his opponents and arouse his supporters’ emotions then that person is not suitable to lead or represent his country. When one is disciplined everything will fall into place.

    Jiffry Haniffa Tuesday, 27 February 2024 09:27 AM

    He should behave decently and should be able to accept win or lose that’s the gentleman game of cricket

    DD Tuesday, 27 February 2024 10:56 AM

    May be what others say is true that, Hasaranga is no Arjuna Ranatunga who had immense experience. However Hasaranga stading up for what's right and what's wrong goes to show he will back his team and hea here to win under the right circumstance. He will get more oppertunities to showcase his abilities and take cue Arjuna, Sanga, Mahela, Dilshan, Malinga, and other captains in the team. He will grow into it and if the SLC gives him a long run and moulds him to a great human being he will be a very good captain. Hasaranga is not going to shy away from a challenge nor is he going to take thing lying down. It's high time we got a bils capatain. All the best to you Hasaranga please dont change your style as this is your individual style. Impair had the oppertunity to ask the 3rd umpair as it's a no ball so the fault lies at the umpire and not Hasaranga.

    Hannibal became Cannibal Tuesday, 27 February 2024 01:37 PM

    @Ram,use your little brain, cheese

    Desamanna Kuruppu Tuesday, 27 February 2024 02:16 PM

    Absolutely not worthy as a Captain..He is only a show -offer and not an intelligent Cricketer too..! on the field Acts like a Bangladeshi..! needs a lot to learn as a Cricketer.

    To hell with Cannibal Tuesday, 27 February 2024 05:11 PM

    Most posts here are not that of true fans but of a selected band favouring Hannibal for other reasons. Hannibal has done a great loss to our cricket by not allowing us to register a 3/0 whitewash with a record chase

    Aquarius Tuesday, 27 February 2024 05:33 PM

    Ego is very destructive and our captain could not help himself with lack of experience in the international arena. Malinga, another rare talent, won the T20 World Cup as a name-sake captain, although it is his name that will be on record. Captains have a lot on their shoulders outside the playing field - to country and his fans.

    NV Jen Tuesday, 27 February 2024 08:04 PM

    He is showing the 'verbal diahorrea' symptoms. First analyse the pathetic bowling/fielding display of some in your team and then blame the umpires.

    Francis Tuesday, 27 February 2024 08:15 PM

    Equivalent to bill in the China shop. No class whatsoever and disgrace to nation and the national team

    Umar Perera Wednesday, 28 February 2024 06:38 AM

    Great captains and leaders take full responsibility for everything that happens out on the cricket field. They don’t point fingers at the end of the days play.


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