before has a no ball created such a stir. Suraj Randiv no ball to gift
India a run, which denied Virendar Sehwag a century, has raised so much noise,
especially in India. Virendar Sehwag was stranded on 99, and vented his
frustration by hitting the bowler to a meaningless six, off the no ball.
Now, there is nothing in the laws of the game that says that Randiv was wrong.
But his action was definitely against the spirit of the game. While the spirit
of the game is a grey area and is not defined properly, any unsportsmanlike
conduct is against the spirit. The preamble to the laws suggests that cricket
is game that is unique in its own way because it is not only played by the laws,
but also by the spirit of the game. Anything that is against the spirit, though
not punishable, kills the game itself.
There was an element of cruelty involved in Randiv's act. Sri Lanka
were going down and it looked as if he wanted to deliver a body blow to Sehwag,
even though that wouldn't have helped his team one bit. In fact, there had been
4 byes prior to the no ball, which strengthens this argument. The Sri Lankan
captain, Kumar Sangakkara, hoped that it had not been a deliberate act
and said that Randiv was not that type of a player. But a two feet no ball is
nothing but deliberate.
Randiv's apology to Sehwag in his room just confirmed that it had been deliberate.
Sehwag accepted the apology but had sounded upset during the press conference
after the game. The Sri Lankan board too, issued an apology to Sehwag.
Reports after the game suggested that Randiv had done it after a senior player
had asked him to do so. The player it seems is none other than Tillekaratne Dilshan. It comes as a surprise as Dilshan plays for the Delhi Daredevils
in the IPL, the same team Sehwag plays in. Both Randiv and Dilshan have been punished
by the Sri Lankan board with the former getting a one match ban.
There are people who argue that Randiv did not want Sehwag to get to a hundred
and did this to prevent Sehwag from getting to the three figure mark. There
is a point in that, but no team wants to gift runs to the opposition either.
The only thing that Randiv should have done is that he should have tried to
get Sehwag out and that would have been the best way to have stopped him at
Sri Lanka have already been involved in a similar thing before. They tried and
succeeded in stopping Sachin Tendulkar from getting to a hundred in Cuttack
last year. This event has just confirmed that they are a cynical side. There
was a school boyish naughtiness in what Randiv did. But this game is not called
the "Gentlemen's game" for nothing. This act has tainted him and he
needs to do a lot to remove that taint off him.