Mumbai: A lot will depend on how the wicket will play in the World Cup final on Saturday . And Sri Lanka's urge to have a look at it was quite understandable.
But Mahela Jayawardene went a bit further when he allegedly tried to touch the wicket and get a feel of it on Thursday. And when Wankhede Stadium curator Sudhir Naik stopped him from doing so, a furious altercation ensued.
"Jayawardene was upset that he was not allowed to touch the wicket. He asked Naik 'would you stop Sachin Tendulkar from touching the wicket?' Naik shot back saying that I won't because he knows the rules," a source told MiD DAY. Naik lost his cool when Jayawardene questioned his credentials. "He (Jayawardene) went on to ask what level of cricket he (Naik) had played. Naik got angry and told Jayawardene about his international stint. Eventually, ICC General Manager Dave Richardson intervened and explained the rules to the Sri Lankan team," the source added. Naik confirmed the incident.
"The International Cricket Council (ICC) directive says that nobody is allowed to touch the wicket except the captain and coach," the former Test player told MiD DAY. "There is no harm in having a look at the pitch, but I will certainly not allow anyone to touch it. Even Andy Atkinson (ICC pitch consultant) said I was right in stopping him."
Sri Lankan media manager Brian Thomas reasoned: "He was just looking at the wicket. The curator stopped him from doing that and that's what upset Mahela."
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