Former Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga has condemned the behavior of Sri Lankan fans and asked them not to behave like their Indian counterparts. The 1996 World Cup winner was referring to the way the home crowd reacted to Sri Lanka’s defeat in the third ODI in Pallekele on Sunday.
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The incident halted play briefly, as the authorities had to resort to mass evacuation at the venue before play could resume, and will undoubtedly be seen as a blemish on Sri Lankan cricket for years to come.
Following this incident, Daily Mirror quoted Ranatunga telling the fans, “Such incidents should not be repeated. Sri Lankans love cricket and they feel sad when we lose a match. We have made lots of sacrifices for cricket and those sacrifices had been made while losing lots of things. Every cricketer in our team is mentally depressed.”
"Therefore, I request our cricket lovers not to behave like Indian spectators. We have a very good history and culture. Such misbehavior is not accepted in our culture and history,” he added.
The 53-year-old was referring to the times when the Indian fans could not control their emotions during a match like in the 1996 World Cup semi finals where Ranatunga was captaining Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens and reduced the hosts to 120/8 in their quest for 252 and the crowd disrupted the game by throwing bottles, and setting newspapers on fire in the stands. As a result, the match was then awarded to the Sri Lankans.
More recently, last year, at the at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, the spectators caused similar disruptions during a T20I between India and South Africa after the MS Dhoni-led side were bowled out for a meager total of 92 before suffering a six-wicket defeat.
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