Who knows what’s cricket and what’s not cricket?
By Rajpal Abeynayake
Someone mentioned to me recently that jihadism is already here in a form that none of us would quite like to imagine. They say that when the Sri Lankans play the Pakistanis, there are people from Akurana who cheer for the Pakistani team - - and that there are some Sri Lankans in the plantations who cheer for the Indian team when India plays Sri Lanka.

The latter assertion made someone else mention that the person who said it did not know a googly from a Ganguly -- not because she was Indian but because she was plain ga-ga.

I’m inclined to agree not because I particularly care for the difference between Ganguly and a googly but because of the fact I simply do not see Indians in the plantations identifying with India, because they have been trying to live down their Indian origins for well over five decades at least.

This allegiance business anyway must be a strange thing. Sri Lankan kids living in England we have heard end up rooting for Sri Lanka, but I have not heard that the Irish cheer for the French when England plays France at soccer.
But the funny thing was that I was also told that the people of Vavuniya were cheering the Indians over the Sri Lankans. Strange, when we have already heard that the people of Jaffna and the Wanni were cheering the Sri Lankans after they won the world cup.

What is it with Vavuniya then that’s even less Sri Lankan than the Vanni?
Is it that they eat more masala vadai in Vavuniya than in Jaffna, and drink less Coca cola?

However are the Vavuniyans more prone to cheer Muralitharan, knowing that he married an Indian girl?

Those from among the Sinhalese who marry Tamils, someone said, tend to overcompensate and regularly condemn the LTTE. Will Murali overcompensate in a similar way, and bowl far too venomously to the Indians??

We do not know but all that can be said is that the mind boggles at the kind of possibilities that arise from the entire social treatise that can be done about cricket, and who cheers what side with whom.

Prabhakaran did not play cricket, and neither did Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga -- so I do not know what the fuss is all about. These two people have a kinship in that they both do not know cricket and to that extent they are the only too real non-colonials, given that even Premadasa enjoyed going for the Royal-Thomian cricket match to sit between the two school Principals.
This is the first time we have truly cut the umbilical cord -- when we have two Lankan leaders who do not know a ball about cricket.

If that’s the case we can forge an amity based on common ground except that its the people who are spoiling this whole show --- with the Vavunians and the Vannians both watching cricket even though the Vavunians cheer the Indians and Vannians cheer the Sri Lankans. Or so according to some imaginative authority.

Drat it! A rift, just when we thought we had a chance of solving this ethnic thing because Prabhkaran and Chandrika are both brought up in a tradition that’s strictly not cricket?

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