What’s the story?
Sri Lankan Cricket was on Monday was declared dead by a newspaper mourning the loss to minnows Bangladesh in the second Test match at the P Sara Oval.
The Island newspaper published an obituary for Sri Lanka cricket after their heartbreaking loss. The headline read,”RIP Sri Lanka”. It further added: "In affectionate remembrance of Sri Lankan cricket which died at the Oval on 19, March 2017. The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Bangladesh."
In case you did not know
After losing the first Test by a huge margin of 259 runs, Bangladesh knew they had to come up with something special to win the next. The occasion was a grand one too as the Tigers were playing their 100th Test match.
Sri Lanka won the toss and batted first and on a track that was doing a bit from the outset they lost a few early wickets. But then Dinesh Chandimal came up with a brilliant 138 and a few contributions from the lower order took their total to 138.
Bangladesh fought back hard with the help of their star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan’s 116 and Mosaddek Hossain’s 75 to post a massive 467.
The heart of the matter
Led by Dimuth Karunaratne in their second innings Sri Lanka got off to a great start. But their middle order failed to fire and the islanders could only notch up 319.
With just 191 as target, Bangladesh were jolted early but Tamim Iqbal and Sabbir Rahman got them closer to the target with a partnership of 111 runs. Though the visitors lost a few more wickets they crossed the line with four batsmen to spare to bring up the historic feat. This was also Bangladesh’s first Test win in 18 attempts against the Lankans.
Now the defeat did not go down well with the local media who slammed the team management and the players for losing against a much lower ranked opponent.
The Island went a step ahead and published the obituary.
Instances from history
In 1882 The Sporting Times newspaper in England famously published a satirical obituary of the English cricket after Australia beat them on English soil, creating the Ashes legend.
"In affectionate remembrance of English cricket which died at The Oval, 29th August 1882. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances, RIP. NB the body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia,” was the writing which was published.
While it is absolutely right for the media to criticize a team for its performance, they also have to keep in mind that it is sports and anything can happen.