Now Lasith Malinga retires from test cricket

I wondered where all this was going to end and it seems that having been backed into a corner, Lasith Malinga has reacted by quitting a format of cricket, he barely ever played in, in the first place.

I’m not going to debate the rights or wrongs of his decision to quit test cricket, that’s another issue.

What I am going to say is that I can’t believe the abysmal way this whole issue has been handled. Why has the Sri Lankan cricket board – a so called professional organsation – conducted it’s business via the media?

We have just seen a similar dispute between Chris Gayle and the WICB, in fairness we are more than used to seeing the WICB conducting it’s business in the public arena, so the latest fiasco they find themselves involved in comes as no surprise.

Was it beyond the wit of man for someone to have contacted Chris Gayle or Lasith Malinga and had a quiet private chat and resolved these issues, rather than issuing demands via the media?

To publicly call for Malinga’s return and seemingly question the validity of his injury looks from the outside, very confrontational.

When you take into consideration that he has only played 30 tests in 7 years, you get the impression that he previously had the support of the Sri Lankan board to miss a large bulk of test cricket, so why the sudden change in policy?

If the board have changed their policy, which it appears they have, then why couldn’t someone get in touch with Malinga to discuss this? If Malinga doesn’t want to know, then at least if the board still want to hang him out to dry, they can do so in the knowledge that they have at least tried to do things the correct way.

The way this whole episode has been handled doesn’t make Sri Lankan cricket look very professional.

As for the West Indies and Chris Gayle, again I get the impression that no one speaks to each other – that’s certainly what Chris Gayle is saying.

I also get the impression that both are a bit to blame. The board could have informed Gayle that he was out of the squad due to fitness, and that as soon as he is fit again, he can return. Likewise, Gayle surely could have picked up the phone and told WICB that if they don’t need him, he would be going to play IPL.

It seems that no one has bothered to contact the other, and then they end up in this ridiculous public slanging match.

Never thought I’d see the day!

Carry his bat, carry his team, leading by example, majestic innings, captain’s knock, patient, batted for the team, composed, committed, sensible, solid, looked interested, good defence, waited for bad ball, played to the match situation, ran singles and played a proper test innings.

Not words or phrases – I would suggest – you would associate with a Chris Gayle test innings.

Remarkably on the 4th day of the 2nd test from Adelaide thats exactly what happened. Chris Gayle played a proper, patient test innings as he carried his bat to an undefeated 165 out of a total of 317.

If someone told me Chris Gayle scored a test century against Australia, I would assume it would be a ‘one day type knock’. The sort of innings where he just tee’s off and the ball flies to all parts of the ground until eventually he succumbed to one shot too many.

No, how wrong could I be. Gayle played an innings totally out of character, he waited for the bad ball, ran his singles, realized the importance of the situation and batted in a manner I have never seen before. He actually looked interested.

A far cry from the man who turned up in presence only and who made it clear he didn’t want to be in England earlier this year, in fact his attitude was a disgrace in England and I believe he should have been sacked as captain.

What has brought about this change in attitude I don’t know, but the Chris Gayle we have seen this week is impressive. For West Indian and world cricket in general, lets hope it continues.