Sri Lanka are sneaky

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2 minute read

At least there's no Jayasuriya this t- oh nads

If you’ve only been half paying attention to Sri Lanka’s two warm-up matches, you might have got the wrong impression.

In the first, against Middlesex, the first day ended with them having conceded 321-5. Andrew Strauss scored a hundred, but so did Dan Housego.

“They can’t bowl,” said Robert Baby-Bunting Dice-Bat and went outside for a G and T and a game of croquet.

Sri Lanka won that match.

Against England Lions, they conceded 493 and then fell to 157-7 before being bowled out for 266.

“They can’t bowl or bat,” said Nicholas Steven Lacquireau-Crap and went outside for a Pimm’s and a game of badminton.

Sri Lanka won that match too.

They’re sly dogs, Sri Lanka, but to call them underdogs seems a bit rich.

The case against underdoggery

They may not have Murali any more, but they haven’t been a one-man team in years. They’ve also reached the last two World Cup finals, which is no mean achievement.

And don’t give us that ‘it’s May’ shit. It was May last time Sri Lanka were here and they drew the Test series then. They followed on in the first Test but some astonishingly resilient batting, not least from Mahela Jayawardene, made England look toothless and complacent, like a fat old toad.

It’s worth mentioning Jayawardene as well, because England are up against three middle-order batsmen who all average considerably over 50 in Test cricket – Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera being the other two. The latter is the classic Sri Lankan cricketer in many ways, because many of you will be going ‘I didn’t know he averaged 54 – when did that happen?’

That 2006 tour also saw five one-dayers and a Twenty20 international played, all of which Sri Lanka won. We felt moved to promise that England would be in better shape for this 2011 tour because we felt guilty by association.

Don’t make us break a promise, England. We experience a constant feeling of guilt anyway. The last thing we want is for the sensation to be of a greater magnitude.


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  1. England will be okay because the Lankans have felt the need to call up Farveez Maharoof, who is pants.

    Yorkshire are doing their best to service the England side not only through providing more players, but also deliberately making Sri Lankan overseas signings in the CC look good just at the right time time.

    When have Lancashire put forward a service like that? Never, that’s when.

  2. Right! A few points just to get things straight.

    You don’t go OUTSIDE for a game of badminton. You go inside.

    Badminton is the world’s fastest racquet sport BY A COUNTRY MILE (record speeds are 156mph for tennis, 172mph for squash, 188mph for pelota, and 209mph for badminton).

    Given that the projectile speed is faster than in any other racquet sport, you might expect that the court size would be correspondingly larger. But no, a player facing a badminton shot has less than half the distance than in tennis, and the ball in squash has to go there and back before it has to be hit.

    The reaction time in badminton is shorter than in any other sport (with the possible exception of wiff-waff). A 100mph delivery in cricket takes 0.4s to reach the batsman. A badminton shuttle hit from the back of the court at 200mph takes 0.1s to reach the defender.

    If you consider only the movement off the pitch for a ball of good length, the reaction time in cricket is about the same (0.1s), but batsmen do NOT react after the ball has pitched (they pre-set their shot based on an expectation of movement). In badminton, a defensive shot must be planned and executed entirely within the 0.1s.

    More people in the world have heard of Lin Dan than have heard of Kevin Pietersen.

    In short, badminton is a highly athletic game requiring lightning fast reflexes and should never, ever be discussed as something that some complacent posh bloke might do instead of croquet. GOT THAT?

    1. This is all good math based on the maximum speeds and the length of the court / pitch. Drag and air resistance ring a bell ? Also swing and spin ?

    2. My point is only that badminton is not the posh pat-a-pat game SOME CRICKET WEBSITE WRITERS think it is. I had a game last night as it happens, with Tarquin and Octavia, and we had a super time… oh.

      By the way, while I’m ranting, when Americans and others discuss MATH, which one of the mathematics are they talking about? Is it arithmetic, or geometry, or trigonometry? I’ve always though that school life in America must be very easy for only having to learn one math instead of the many that proper schools teach.

    3. Bert, your interpretation of our words merely reflects your own preconceptions about people with hyphenated names who drink G and T and Pimm’s and play croquet.

      We were describing our neighbours from when we used to live in Whalley Range.

    4. I am Indian. We did not have the necessity to seperate different branches of Mathematics. We enjoy it all as one.

      As for my lack of English skills, I have to say this, English had many mothers and fathers. It is going to have a whole bunch of children. Deal with it.

    5. Nothing but a joke, Pavan, and I know you’re not an American. I only have one serious topic on this website, and that is cricket administrators. And football, I mean everything I say about football too. And Matthew Hayden, obviously. And, frankly, all other Australian cricketers, especially Ricky Ponting and Mitchell Johnson. And as for Warwick Armstrong – don’t get me started…

  3. Well said Bert. After all, what would a posh bloke be doing playing a posh girl’s sport?

    Drop in standards there KC.

  4. Sometimes I get this numb feeling that no country is good at test cricket. One of them wins occasionally because the other is badder.

  5. badminton is a piece of shit.

    “a defensive shot must be planned and executed entirely within the 0.1s.”

    this is also balls. basic ball (or shuttle) anticipation comes into play in badminton just as it does in tennis or any other racquet sport. it’s not as if the guy’s just standing there having shuttlecocks fired at him from random angles. you hit a shot, you know where it’s gone, you know where your opponent is, you know what he can do with it, you’re anticipating the return even as you hit your shot.

    I’d argue that “anticipation” in cricket is actually harder.

    1. Your opponent can aim across the whole 6m width of the court, and believe me, against a good player with plenty of disguise, anticipation can be more dangerous than waiting. So, just like cricket (if the ball could move 6m off line).

    2. I reckon that all widespread professional sports, when played at the highest level, are basically on the edge of what’s humanly possible and have evolved accordingly (in terms of the size of the playing area, ball/cock speed etc). For example the size of the stumps and the ball in cricket were adjusted (maybe in the 1920s?) to even up the contest between bowler and batsmen.

      As such I think it’s probably hard to say that any one sport is easier than another.

  6. The 209mph thing is a bit misleading. The shuttlecock decelerates much faster than a tennis ball.

    “In short, badminton is a highly athletic game requiring lightning fast reflexes and should never, ever be discussed as something that some complacent posh bloke might do instead of croquet. GOT THAT?”
    I agree.

  7. Let us stop this nonsense and agree that both balls and shuttlecocks are important.

    PS: I am grown up enough to resist the ‘you should stroke them well’ joke.

  8. Oh, by the way, once while indulging in croquet, I swung so hard the mallet that was already a little loose flew into a roof. Luckily, there was no damage.

    1. Quite, DC. A man’s game, croquet. I think we can all agree that if a comparison is needed with a pathetic ex sport played by people with no toughness, courage or basic human integrity, only football will do.

  9. Sri Lanka is one delightful, awesome, cricket-mad nation. The world of cricket is much richer for Sri Lanka’s emergence as a major cricketing nation.

    Personally I am proud and delighted to have followed Sri Lanka’s cricketing progress with interest since becoming fascinated with the players’ crazy names when Sri Lanka came to the inaugural World Cup in 1975.

    I think it is the crazy names that lull commentators into a false sense of security. How can someone whose surname sounds like a 1980’s pop duo score 150-odd before tea against a decent bowling attack? It makes no sense.

    1. 1975 ? Wow. My mom was 12 back then.

      Agree that Sri lanka bring a really interesting brand of cricket.

      But as an Indian, I will have to hate them for the 1996 world cup semi final, the 2007 world cup league match, Murali and Vaas skittling India out for 54 in sharjah after Jayasuriya blasted the Indian bowlers for 189 in the same match..

    2. I was also 12 back then.

      Imagine trying to pronounce those names when you had never ever heard or even seen such names before and you were commentating on the Owzat/Cricket Darts/Cricket Subbuteo version of the Cricket World Cup 1975 in the huge stadium that was my (or a friend in the street’s) bedroom.

  10. they play far too many boring tests for my liking. liking? I hate them. more or less.

  11. Bert… I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you are acting like a complete knob.

    FYI, “mathematics” classes here in North America will include any and all the branches of mathematics (analysis, algebra, geometry, arithmetic, theory) which is a good thing, since they are all closely related. Also, knob knob knob.

    1. Well why don’t you call it maths then, if there’s more than one? Do you have physic lessons as well?

      Honestly, with all this misunderestimating the power and grace of badminton and being unable to pluralise basic words, I’m beginning to think that the internet is not the home of sense and infinite wisdom I once thought it was.

  12. I have nothing to say about math(s) but i would like to comment on the actual post . I am glad that someone has remembered Sri Lanka’s wonderful last tour here and hasn’t written us, um, them, off already. I still get a warm feeling remembering how I kept checking the scores of the Lord’s test and being surprised and delighted that SL were hanging on.

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