Essaying Cricket: Sri Lanka and Beyond

Michael Roberts

warne hugs Arjuna

  • Articles on World Cricket, Sri Lankan Cricket politics, sledging and chucking
  • Comments on partisan TV coverage and cricket team reactions to bomb blasts
  • 35 Articles by Guest Authors including Harsha Bhogle, Peter Roebuck, Mike Coward, Mike Marqusee & Sambit Bal and a range of Lankan authors, names familiar as well as surprising
  • A breathtaking collection of 157 photographs

Publisher: Vijitha Yapa Publications, Colombo, 2006

Softcover: ISBN 955-1266-25-0   AUD $65 / pd 25

       Hardcover: ISBN 955-1266-26-9       AUD $90 / pd 35 



1. Bat, Ball and Foul Mouth            in Cricket                                                                                            01

2. Fundamentalism in Cricket: Crucifying Muralitharan                                                                 04


3. Cricket as Global as Honourable                                                                                                  06
4. Bomb Blasts in Pakistan and Cricket                                                                                           09
5. Faint Hearts in Cricket, I                                                                                                                        14
6. Faint Hearts in Cricket, II                                                                                                           17
7. Racism in Cricket? The Lehmann Incident                                                                                 2
8. Match-Fixing by Death Threat? Exploiting Cricketer Paranoia?                                             26
9.Cricket, Politics & Zimbabwe during the World Cup                                                                 30
10. Fears of Africa in the World of Cricket: the Kiwis & Kenya                                                  33


11. The Falling Wicket: Its Failures                                                                37

12. Uniformity & Difference in Cricketing Rules                                          40

13. Media Culpability in the Branding of Murali                                           44

14. Shoaib, Murali & the Australian Public                                                    48

15. Moral Crusaders as Menace in Cricket                                                     51

16.Weighted Cricket Commentary                                                                57

17. Positive Proof? The Camera lies                                                               63

18. Letters to the ICC on TV Cricket Commentary                                       66

19. The Power of Fame                                                                                   71

20. Pollock’s Patronising Faux Pas                                                                75

21. Blatant Discrimination in TV Commentary from South Africa               77

22. Transparent Justice: About Lozenges, Dravid and Camera Teams          79

23. Orwell & Technology to Rule Bowling Actions?                                     81

24. Monitoring the Monitors: ICC and Match Referees                                8

25. Cricket Umpiring and Sri Lanka                                                              92


26.The Grunt, the Spit and the Snarl in Sports                                              96

27. Sin-Bin for Verbal Intimidation in Cricket                                               98

28. Letter to the ICC, 25 November 2002                                                     103

29. Cricket Dirty Cricket                                                                                107

30.Abusive Cricket Fans: A Clarification                                                      112

31. Legitimising the Bully-Boys on the Cricket Field                                   116    


32. Governing Sri Lankan Cricket: Sumathipala as Premadasa                                  120

33. Brickbats for Fernando, Stones for Johnston                                                       123

34. Musical Chairs in Cricket Selections                                                                    126

35. Arjuna Ranatunga I                                                                                        131
36. Arjuna Ranatunga II                                                                                            136


37. Choosing our Cricketers: The 1996 Syndrome                                                     139

38. Await Embarrassment                                                                                          142

39. ODI Teams: Messy Selections                                                                              145

40. From Debacle to Triumph at Cricket                                                                    148

41. Run-Out Cricket                                                                                                   151

42. Shortcomings in Sri Lanka’s ODI Cricket Team World Cup 2003                      154


43. Twin Blunders in One Game                                                                                158

44. Travelling Cricketers, I                                                                                         160

45. Travelling Cricketers, II                                                                                        163

46. Sotheby’s Stumped by Stumps                                                                             166

47. Travelling India, with Cricket                                                                               168

48. Cricket Great, Cricketing Lords                                                                           173

49. Mahadeva Sathasivam, Playboy Cricketers and the Book of Guinness               175


  1. Kamran Abbasi: Wanted: A Radical Rethink on Suspect Bowling Actions        179
  2. Seevali Abeysekera: The Sword of English-Speak as Lankans Tour                   182
  3. Charlie Austin: A Cornishman in Colombo                                                          186
  4. Sambit Bal: Dude, Where’s My Country?                                                            188
  5. Harsha Bhogle: Cricket’s Odd Couple write a Winning Script                            190
  6. Rohit Brijnath: A Man Apart                                                                                192
  7. Trevor Chesterfield: Cronjegate Aftermath: Conspiracy, Fact And Fiction                    194
  8. David Colin-Thome: The Australian Juggernaut & Globalisation                        198
  9. Ted Corbett: In Appreciation of Bill Lawrie                                                        203
  10. Mike Coward: Old World Plays in New Age: Bradman and Tendulkar             206
  11. Tony Cozier: No Place in Cricket for Sledging                                                    208
  12. Matt Deighton: The Ties that Bind Two Cricketig Nations                                 210
  13. Bandula de Silva: Introducing Dambulla and Rangiri Stadium                           213
  14. Gideon Haigh: About Aravinda’s Aravinda                                                         216
  15. Tissa Jayatilaka: The Politics of Cricket: World Cup and Beyond                       218
  16. Stanley Jayaweera: What Ails Sri Lanka’s Cricket?                                             222
  17. Boria Majumdar: A Star is Scorned: C. K. Nayadu of India                               228
  18. Mike Marqusee: Indian Cricket: Celebrate and Reflect                                                   23468. Mark Nicholas: Dav Whatmore: Australia’s Downfall plotted by One of their Own      23769. Peter Roebuck: On Sachin Tendulkar’s Early Coaching                                                  240

    70. Nirgunan Tiruchelvam: Murali scales the Summit                                                            242

    71. J. Neville Turner: A TemporaryFracture or a Permanent Breach?                      

    Australia & Sri Lanka at Cricket, 1998                       245

72. Rohan Wijayaratna: Laying Some Myths to Rest                                                                        249

73. Mahinda Wijesinghe: The Best Allrounder Performance Ever: An Unlikely Comet,

Denis Atkinson                                                                                                        253


  1. David Colin-Thome: The History of Tea and Cricket in Sri Lanka                                 258
  2. Dr. C H. Gunasekara: My Cricket in England: Early Twentieth Century                       26376. Neville Jayaweera: Bradman and His Men in Ceylon                                                     268
  1. Trevor Chesterfield: The Rebel Era: Winds of Change in South Africa                         277
  2. Hanif Markar: The Games They Play                                                                              282
  3. Mike Marqusee: In Serarch of the Unequivocal Englishman: the Conundrumof Race and Nation in English Cricket                                                                29280. Peter Roebuck: When Sri Lanka’s Greats Move On
  1. Sri Lankan Cricket on a Road to Nowhere                    303
  1. Bernard Whimpress: Murali’s Chucking Episodes in Australia                                       305
  2. Sambit Bal: The Throwing Controversy: Save the Doosra                                              314

83. Glucka Wijesinghe: Murali and the Bowling Issue                                                          317

84. Peter Roebuck: Secret Filming Reveals Extent of Bowlers who Chuck                           321

Royal vs SPC 17 Jan 1928 Royal vs St. Peters Adelaide Scoresheet, 1928

p1 Teapot teapot signed by Tendulkar


+ Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike’s Menu Card, from Dinner for Waddy’s Team, 1914                 323

+ Facsimile of Cover of Book by S P Foenander, Sixty Years of Ceylon Cricket, 1924                     324

+Original Scoring Sheets from tour of Sri Lanka by St. Peters’ College, Adelaide in 1928             325

Trinity College Scoresheet, Asgiriya, 13 Jan. 1928

St Thomas’ College scoresheet, SSC grounds, 19 Jan 1928

Royal College Scoresheet, SSC grounds, 17 Jan. 1928

SPC, Adelaide Scoresheet vs Dickoya at Darrawella, 10 Jan. 1928

  1. St.Peter’s College, Adelaide Tour of Ceylon in 1928                                                                  330
  2. Lucien de Zoysa: Royal College tours Australia, 1936                                                                339+ Signature Card: Australian Cricket Team under Bradman, 1948                                                    344+ Signature Card: Australian Cricket Team under Benaud, 1961

    + Scoresheet: India vs AllCeylon, Ahmedabad, January 1964

    + Signature Card: Australian Cricket Team under Lawrie, 1961

    + Thamil Militants’ Protest, Oval, London, June 1975

    + Signature Card, Sri Lanka Team for Inaugural Test, 17-22 February 1982                       

    + Copy of Post Card, Sri Lanka, in Commemoration of the World Cup Victory, 1996                   

    + Special Postal Cover in Commemoration of the World Cup Victory, 1996                      

    + Sri Lanka Stamps’ Cricket Collection

    + Etching of Aravinda by Joe Hoad

    + Etching of Chaminda by Joe Hoad

    + Etching of Murali by Joe Hoad

    + Etching of Mahela by Joe Hoad

    + Facsimile Copy: Hunter “Stork” Hendry to Rohan Wijayaratna,

    + Facsimile Copy: Hunter “Stork” Hendry to Rohan Wijayaratna, with caricatures

  3. Srilal Fernando: Test Cricket of a Different Kind,Englishwomen vs Ceylonese Women in 1948                                357
  4. Cats Eye: Critiquing Cricket & its Fervent Nationalism — Bangles to the Captain                     360
  5. Chandra Wickramasinghe: The Game                                                                              36890.The Bradman Collection, State Library of South Australia, Adelaide                              370+ Ceylon & Lanka Cricket Crests                                                                                           372




Filed under Australian cricket, Bradman, confrontations on field, cricket and life, cricket governance, cricketing icons, foul tactics, Mahela Jayawardene, murali, performance, player selections, politics and cricket, reconciliation through sport, Sangakkara, shane warne, sportsmanship, Sri Lanka Cricket, technology and cricket, tower of strength

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