Atapattu’s sportsmanship praised
DAMBULLA: Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu was praised for his sportsmanship by match referee Mike Procter after allowing Australia’s Andrew Symonds back to the crease on Sunday.
Symonds was given out lbw to Kumar Dharmasena when on 10 but umpire Peter Manuel changed his mind and called the all rounder back after deciding that the ball had touched his bat first. “I thought the way it was handled out there was terrific,” said Procter.
“You have to take your hat off to Marvan and his team for the manner in which they accepted the decision.
“Symonds is one of those players that can win a game with a few blows and it was a big call from Marvan at that stage of the game.” “The umpire thought through his initial decision and realised he had made a mistake – it was a hugely courageous decision to do what he did,” Procter added.
Symonds went on to score an unbeaten 36 but Australia lost the one-day international by one run. Atapattu said he had no hesitation in agreeing to Symonds’s return when asked by the umpires. “Our guys knew it was a wrong decision and we didn’t know what to do, but when they asked him I was happy to call him back,” Atapattu said. “It’s only a game after all and we have to play the game in the right spirit.” —Reuters