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Australia v Sri Lanka, The Oval, World Cup 1975

Crease occupation

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Ranjit Fernando: "This happened at the first World Cup, in our match against Australia at The Oval. I believe it was perhaps the first instance of a cricket match being disrupted by political protesters. The demonstrators descended from nowhere, and were packed away as quickly as they arrived. To us players, sport was a huge unifying factor and politics had no place in it. The incident took our focus away momentarily, but we never felt threatened. In fact, the diversion, which happened before the first ball, probably calmed our nerves and helped us perform better before a big audience at such an important event." Photograph by Getty Images

This article was first published in Wisden Asia Cricket magazine

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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