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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 728

Will Sri Lanka get the revenge after Seventeen years at MCG?

By Nalin Abeysekera

It was way back in 1995.The place was Melbourne Cricket Ground(MCG).The match started on Boxing day when Australian umpire Darrell Hair called Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan for throwing (This was done in front of large crowd and according to ESPN nearly 5 5239 spectators have witnessed this incident)for the first time.

He has repeated this for seven times in that spell and captain Ranatunga strategically removed him and later Murali bowled 32 more overs from umpire Steve Dunne's end without protest from either Dunne or Hair, at square leg .Experts in cricket has questioned this on grounds of how umpire can no bowl the bowler as Hair overrode what is normally regarded as the authority of the square leg umpire in adjudicating on throwing.

But this incident motivates Sri Lanka to work as a team with spirit and has triggered them to win their world cup in 1996 again defeating Australia in final at Lahore, Pakistan. Now we can read this as one case study in sports management.

This is the second time (26th December 2012) Sri Lanka is playing against Australia in MCG in boxing day test. And we can expect full capacity in first day which statistics has proven the same (see the below table for last six years).

Year

Boxing Day Crowd

2006

89,155

2007

68,465

2008

63,263

2009

59,206

2010

84,345

2011

70,068

MCG is historically important in world test cricket. The first officially recognized Test match began on 15 March 1877, between England and Australia at MCG. This match has won Australia by 45 runs.

Interestingly a Test match to celebrate 100 years of Test cricket was held in Melbourne from 12 to 17 March 1977, in which Australia beat England by 45 runs—the same margin as the first Test.

This match will be the second test in three match series. The first match has won by Australia by 137 runs. But anyway in boxing day match the prime bowler of Australia Ben Hilfenhaus was injured and Mitchell Starc also has been rested.

Even the captain Michael Clarke is having hamstring strain and not confirmed his presence yet. If we recall our memories last year again Boxing Day match , Sri Lanka stunned their hosts in Durban to record as unexpected a victory .And this was the first victory against South After in their home soil.

This time also it can be expected as Sri Lanka play with experienced Mahela,Sagakkara and Dilshan with Thilan in batting department. Even the pitch of MCG will help Rangana Herath than Horbat as the pitch report suggested. And Welagedara also in fine form with his permanence at Horbat. The most important factor will be the ground support. Usually MCG is famous for Sri Lankans living in Australia. This can be attributed by following remark made by captain Mahela after winning ODI against Australia in March this year.

"The boys showed character [to bounce back after the defeat to India]. Fantastic support, it’s like playing in Sri Lanka. We lifted our game. I’m sure the crowd will follow us now, the lift that we got [from them], it pushed us in the last few overs."

If Sri Lanka can win this match it will be there first in Australia. I think Mahela and team can do it with all blessings.

- Asian Tribune -

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