New Delhi:The Ferozeshah Kotla pitch condition in the fifth and final ODI between India and Sri Lanka led to a heated argument between former speedster Javagal Srinath and ex captain from the island country Marvan Atapattu.
As soon as the match was held up due to "unfit playing conditions", Atapattu thought the match should have been called off even earlier after seeing the nature of the pitch from the first few overs which Srinath disagreed.
Though Srinath conceded that the wicket was of poor quality for an ODI match he objected to Atapattu's remark that
Sri Lankan batsmen were hit.
"Knowing that it was a fresh wicket and after seeing how the pitch behaved after the first few overs the match should have been called off earlier," Atapattu said at the NEO Cricket studio.
"The safety of the (Sri Lankan) players were off paramount importance. You see they were hit in the first few overs itself," he added.
Srinath said a decision to call off the match could not have been taken in haste.
"Players got hit even on good pitches. Only one player has been hit. When you go out to play and found the pitch not in the best of conditions but you expect it to be better as the game progresses. So it could not have been called off so soon," said Srinath, now ICC match referee.
The match was eventually abandoned after 23.3 overs with Sri Lanka at 83 for five.