'I regret what happened overall' - Sangakkara
A day ahead of Sri Lanka's key match against New Zealand, their captain Kumar Sangakkara spent nearly his entire press conference addressing questions about the Suraj Randiv no-ball controversy. Sangakkara regretted the incident, wanted his team to concentrate on Thursday's match, and said the Sri Lankan board would decide whether further action needed to be taken.
"I regret what happened overall," he said. "We need to take up the responsibility as a team and we need to get back to the right mindset ahead of tomorrow's game. I spoke my mind out to the team on the whole incident. I had a chat with my team manager as well. Now it's up to the cricket board to decide."
The incident occurred at the end of their match against India, when a big no-ball from Randiv with the scores level left Virender Sehwag one short of a century, with the six that he hit off the no-ball not counting against his name. Despite having no impact on the result - India won and collected a bonus point as well - the episode has turned into a full-blown controversy. Both Randiv and SLC apologised to Sehwag on Wednesday and the Sri Lankan board launched an internal inquiry.
Sehwag had initially shrugged off missing a hundred but was critical of Randiv at a press conference soon after the match, claiming that the bowler has deliberately overstepped. Sangakkara was unhappy with Sehwag's change in attitude and said all parties needed to play their part in putting the incident behind.
"We have taken the necessary steps. I have spoke to Mahi [MS Dhoni] and Gary Kirsten. Sehwag has tweeted that there have been other approaches made to him," Sangakkara said. "I think if you all talk of the spirit of the game, once you set right things in motion, it's the responsibility of all players, to be within that spirit. We can't expect just one side to keep making the advances and holding out the hand while it has been sensationalised by other players, I think everyone's got the responsibility to move on from this incident."
Sangakkara also said he had initially thought Sehwag had made a hundred and only came to know the batsman finished on 99 at the post-match presentation. "As a side, we were under the impression that even in the normal situations of the game even in a no ball, you get the runs. I was under the impression that Sehwag was on 105. There was no instance [when] we thought he was denied a 100. Tony Greig asked me at the post-match presentation, Sehwag was denied a hundred. That was a surprise to me, I don't think anyone understood the intricacies of the law in first place."