On Simon Barnes' article in the British Times.

By The Seeing Eye for Sightscreens Unlimited Writing to LankaWeb

"Sri Lanka's Loss Of Innocence Is Cricket's Gain" says Simon Barnes in the British Times Newspaper and alludes that the "Poohstick Years Are Over" written in more complimentary terms than derogatory but to the discerning eye there seems to be a subtle reference at skulduggery displayed by the Lankans to emerge from the cocoon of naivette and innocent pixies quoting some of its references.

The cross references made and analogies drawn to the current exchange of epithets and profanities between some players on the present tour and the West Indies of Yore is in poor taste and does not convey gentlemanliness nor sportsmanship on anyones part and the anachronistic titling of Clive LLoyd as a humiliated leader seems rather far fetched. Brian Lara certainly, under whose leadership sadly the once powerful W'Indies have been humiliated in recent times!

The implication being that Sri Lanka reached their pinnacle through aggression and by fighting over the years in reality is a misconception.On the contrary their climb to the top was through a wonderful cricketing heritage going back in time, the brilliant leadership of Arjuna Ranatunga blessed with sheer talent amongst his players and the neo-flamboyancy of an almost Carribean Flavour though retaliations displayed in the Shane Warne - Dharmasena incident during the victorious World Cup or uniting behind Muralitharan on being unjustly called for throwing were necessary evils at the time the more recent ones being academic. Lankans normally are not known to cast the first stone!! but certainly are fighters for a just cause.

A pretty well known truism in the modern game is that swear words and subtle intimidations and disagreements with umpiring decisions are not uncommon which is the reason that mini- microphones are being installed on stumps at the high level games which will eventually become mandatory as the approach towards un-gentlemanliness in cricket is being frowned upon by the ICC fairly seriously and will be taken to task with reprisals for the perpetrators.

Sri Lanka still are a Cinderella team in the eyes of its adoring fans and are destined to go very far possibly becoming undisputed Cricket Champions in the near future and certainly the "Poohstick Years" where they were misjudged as pushovers are over. A word of noteworthy mention, yes indeed it has been observed that England have been very tight fisted in the number of Test Matches they have given Sri Lanka in Series Past, certain cricket writers a decade ago gave Sri Lanka little chance of reaching the top, but subsequently having to eat their words literally and one wonders if all this compounded the Sri Lankan resolve and moulded their fine mettle.

The present series is being anticipated as one of intense competition which would make it colorful or drab as the case may be but it should pave the way for the Lankans to once again conquer the world.



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