Island Cricket

Friday, February 1, 2008

We were always going to play: Jayawardene

ABC News: The Sri Lankan cricket captain has denied his team planned to pull out of the one day triangular series if the racial vilification ban imposed on Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh was not dropped.

It was reported the Indian team had chartered a flight out of Australia and Sri Lanka was also planning to leave if the ban was upheld.

But Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene says that is not the case.

"We were not spoken at all about anything like that, our board never got to us about any of those things," he said.

"We were just getting ourselves prepared for tournament, we didn't know exactly what was going on. I saw the article as well but we have no idea about that."

Jayawardene also says he believes on-field verbal disputes between players should be settled by the players.

His comments were in response to questions about the handling of the racial vilification case involving Harbhajan and Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

Jayawardene says there is a place for sledging in cricket, as long as it is not too personal.

"I think it should be part of the game, that's why cricket has been there for some time and that's why some teams have been on top of some other teams - because they have been mentally tougher, much stronger," he said.

"If it becomes a bit too personal then I think the first thing would be to try and sort it out between yourselves, have a chat to the guys and say 'you know you're going too far'."

Sri Lanka plays Tasmania in its final warm-up match at Bellerive Oval on Saturday.


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