Blown away in Cardiff

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With his long alliance with Sir Ian Botham at Somerset over, Sir Viv Richards moved to Cardiff during the twilight of his career to be the overseas professional of Glamorgan. Playing a First Class game against Hampshire and ready to face the opposition’s overseas signing Malcolm Marshall, Sir Viv pulled out from facing the ball at the last moment as if something had disturbed him.

Then he started to walk. Past the umpire, past Marshall, past the boundary rope and was climbing the stairs towards the main pavilion. Suddenly he stopped, pointed his finger towards a spectator and said, ‘Hey you. Yes you.’ When he had the attention of the spectator who was reading the newspaper, Sir Viv shouted, ‘You have got David Gower at slip, Robin Smith in the gully, Malcolm Marshall is bowling to Vivian Richards, and you reading the effing newspaper!”

Is Sri Lanka the ‘World’s worst fielding side’?

Every young kid who start their cricketing ………

The Sri Lankan cricket team is currently Cardiff and the old timers would recall the Master Blaster’s exploits for Glamorgan having helped them end a 24-year wait for silverware.

The United Kingdom comprises of four countries – England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Cardiff is the largest city of Wales and one of the country’s top tourist attractions.  A lack of knowledge of these geopolitics could see you ending up with some embarrassing moments. A full English breakfast is quite normal all over the UK where you get your eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes, toast and coffee. But if you ask for a Full English Breakfast while in Cardiff people get offended. They call it the Full Welsh Breakfast. It’s the same menu but the Welsh wouldn’t want to lose their identity.  The Welsh rivalry towards the English can be very well seen when these teams engage in rugby. In the last World Cup, Wales stunned England 28-25 in Twickenham.

Located right behind the historic Cardiff castle, fans visiting the ground from other cities prefer to take the 15-minute walk from the train station to Sofia Gardens where the cricket is played.

It’s a relaxed walk past the city center, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Castle and botanical gardens that’s located by the side of the river. During that 15 minute walk you get it all. Modern architecture, history and lush greenery.

Being not one of the leading cricket centers in the country with an ability to host only 15,000 fans, Cardiff welcomes Sri Lankan teams regularly. Dimuth Karunaratne’s side will be hoping for better luck this time around as all five of their previous visits to the Welsh capital have ended in defeats. To put it simply, Cardiff has given Sri Lanka many a heartbreak.

Their maiden visit to Wales was in 2011 for the opening Test of a long tour. Sri Lanka posted 400 runs in the first innings with the other Jayawardene – Prasanna – posting a back to the wall hundred. From thereon, the game was regularly interrupted by rain.

Eventually, England ended up with 496 runs. It was pretty clear that there was not going to be any play on the final day due to thunderstorms early in the morning. But in the afternoon, it cleared and thanks to the excellent drainage system, the water was dried up in double quick time. A result looked unlikely with just over a session’s play available and England having a meager lead of 94.

Is Sri Lanka the ‘World’s worst fielding side’?

Every young kid who start their cricketing ……….

England batted for two overs on the final day just to allow Ian Bell to his century and then declared the innings with the intention of giving their bowlers another crack at the batters. All hell broke loose from thereon as Sri Lanka collapsed in dramatic style.

When played resumed after tea with Sri Lanka on 33 for two and Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara out in the middle, Sri Lanka were in safe hands. But over the next 12.4 overs, the tourists lost all their remaining wickets to be bowled out for 82 runs and suffer a shock innings and 14 run loss.

The team received intense criticism for their lack of application. Skipper T.M. Dilshan faced a barrage of criticism at the post match media briefing. He promised to fix the problem and true to form went onto score a career best 193 at Lord’s in the next game. He also broke Sidath Wettimuny’s record for the best individual score by a Sri Lankan at the Cathedral of Cricket that had stood for 27 years.

Their most recent visit to Cardiff was two years ago where Thisara Perera famously dropped Sarfraz Ahmed. Had the catch been taken, Sri Lanka would have sealed Pakistan’s fate in the Champions Trophy. Sarfraz guided his team to an unlikely win and Pakistan went onto win the Champions Trophy beating arch-rivals India. No one will forget the Pakistani captain’s post match media briefing. “I will remember that dropped catch for the rest of my life and Thisara will remember it for the rest of his life,” Sarfaraz said. Can Thisara redeem himself in Cardiff this time around?