|Saturday, 01 March 2003|
by Elmo Rodrigopulle
Here is how a journalist made a story out of nothing. The story was so well thought out and done that it shook the cricket world, especially Sri Lanka and Kenya. On form there was no way that Sri Lanka could have lost the World Cup match to Kenya in Nairobi. But it is said that cricket is associated with the glorious uncertainties of the game. And the uncertainties were there in full as Sri Lanka tumbled to an unexpected defeat.
Nowadays it is the expected norm to hear the all too familiar cry, when a match is lost or a catch dropped that it has been sold or jarawa taken.
When Sri Lanka lost a match to Kenya it could well have won, the cry was heard in jest that the Lankans had sold the match, which was further from the truth. What happened was that the Lankans batted worst than village green cricketers to lose the match. Now it is the done thing for the Anti Corruption Unit of the ICC to call for the tapes of all matches played and view them, because they too have a job to do.
Likewise they asked for the tapes of the Sri Lanka - Kenya game. But this bright spark of a journalist inquired from the ACU whether they asked for the tapes of the Sri Lanka-Kenya game. The answer was yes. The journalist made a story by blowing it up saying the ACU had asked for the tapes and slanting it saying that match fixing had been suspected, so the asking of the tapes.
The story which did the wires all over was caught up by all and the cricketers and officials of both teams and the two countries were stunned and shocked at the story. What the journalist had done was the now all too familiar tall story.
It was routine for the ACU to call for the tapes.
While the story had no muscle in it, it went to upset the cricketers, the officials and the Cricket Boards of the two countries, until the ICC who caught up with the story clarified by saying that there was no truth whatsoever in the allegation of match fixing and that it was routine for the ACU of the ICC to call for the tapes of every game.
Produced by Lake House