Veteran spinner Rangana Herath shed light on the Dilruwan Perera DRS controversy when he told journalists at the end of the fourth day’s play on Sunday (November 19), that it was he who asked umpire Nigel Llong if there were any reviews left with Sri Lanka.
Perera was given out leg before wicket to Mohammed Shami in the 57th over of the innings and the batsman had started to walk back towards the dressing room before turning around suddenly and opting for the review. The decision was overturned and Perera went on to add a crucial 43 runs with Herath for the eighth wicket as Sri Lanka managed to extend their first-innings lead over the hosts at the Eden Gardens.
Although the Indian players didn’t complain, there were allegations that Perera had received feedback from the Sri Lankan dressing room.
“It is simple as this. What happened was I asked Mr. Nigel Llong whether there was a review left. I guess Dilruwan probably heard it as well and opted for the review,” Herath told.
“I didn’t see anyone signaling from the dressing room as I was looking at the umpire. I didn’t call him back. He probably heard that I was asking the umpire whether a review was left and decided to review,” the 40-year-old, who scored a vital half-century, added.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) too issued a statement at the end of the day’s play to offer clarity on the ambiguity.
“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to clarify the ambiguity surrounding the DRS appeal of Dilruwan Perera during the 3rd days play of the 1st Test in Kolkata earlier this afternoon.
“Contrary to the assumptions made, there was no “message from the dressing room” involved in the requested review.
“Having mistakenly assumed that Sri Lanka were out of reviews, Dilruwan Perera had turned to leave the feild when he heard Rangana Herath inquire from the on-field umpire Nigel Long if Sri Lanka have any reviews left, to which Mr. Long answered in the affirmative.
“It was then that Dilruwan requested the review.
“We wish to place on record that every single Sri Lankan player and official is not only strongly respectful and bounden to uphold the rules and regulations of the ICC, but plays their game of cricket under the ethics and principles of true sportsmanship and the Spirit of Cricket,” the statement read.
The former Sri Lanka captain top-scored with 67 runs and helped Sri Lanka to take a lead of 122 runs.
“I wanted to play the shots and stay positive. The credit should go to fast bowlers of both teams. Compared to the first two days, today was much better to bat on and that’s why we were able to go on and take a lead.
“Compared to the first two days of the match, this is a much better wicket to bat on. We have got one more day to go and will see what happens.”
The seamers enjoyed the conditions the most while the spinners of both sides had very little role to play. “As a spinner I can’t say it’s a great wicket. I like to see some turn. There’s no turn on this wicket and little assistance. When you are getting to the fourth innings there will be some turn and I am sure the spinners will have their chance.”