Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) President Shammi Silva (right) handing over special plaque to Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley at the late spin legend Shane Warne tribute ceremony held just before the Sri Lanka – Australia first Test match played at Galle International Cricket Stadium yesterday. Also in the picture are 1996 World Cup winning team players Upul Chandana, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Muttaih Muralitharan, Aravinda de Silva, Skipper Arjuna Ranathunga,SLC Assistant Secretary Krishantha Kapuwatta, SLC CEO Ashley de Silva and SLC Secretary Mohan de Silva. (pix courtesy SLC)
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) honoured late spin legend Shane Warne with an on-field commemoration and presentation for his family before the first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka for the Murali – Warne trophy which commenced at the Galle International Cricket Stadium yesterday.
Just before the first Test Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) top officials, Cricket Australia (CA) Chief Executive officer Nick Hockley, two team members and few former Sri Lankan World Cup winning team members including captain Arjuna Ranatunga gathered in this ceremony at Galle Stadium. Both Sri Lankan and Australia spectators were respected late Warne who had helped Sri Lankan people at 2004 Tsunami period.
The former World Cup winning captain Ajuna Ranatunga has revealed how Shane Warne helped Sri Lanka to rise to cricketing power.
Sri Lanka cricket honoured Warne with an on-field commemoration which was organised by SLC and presented a special plaque to Cricket Australia CEO on behalf of the Warne’s family. Mohan de Silva the Secretary of SLC made a special speech on behalf of SLC at this occasion.
The Seven members of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning team were in attendance were more significant while Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva, Muttiah Muralitharan and Kumar Dharmasena, Upul Chandana and Romesh Kaluwitharana who is Sri Lankan selector of this series were present at the tribute ceremony.
Former skipper Ranatunga and Warne were regularly at odds through the 1990s with fiery clashes between Australia and Sri Lanka. Ranatunga was recalled about Shane Warne at this occasion.
“Inside the ground Warne was a tough character – we had our mouthfuls to say to each other,” Ranatunga said afterwards.
“But I respected Shane Warne a lot and he respected me a lot. Sometimes you might have to say things, that’s something we learned from Australia. Mentally (they knew) how to push you down said Arjuna Ranathunga the captain cool.
“We learned from them and unfortunately for Australia we used that in the 1996 (World Cup) final.”The left-handed batsman took Warne down in his first Test in Sri Lanka in Colombo 1992, before watching the leg spinner deliver a spell of 3-0 to kickstart his career.
“When we saw him for the first time we knew he was a great in the making,”added Ranatunga.
The former Sri Lanka captain said Sri Lankans were shattered by news of Warne’s shock passing away in last March.
Warne’s image was pasted all over the southern end of the Galle ground. With banners honouring Warne and fellow spin great Muralitharan people payed gratitude for Warne.
Fittingly Warne’s name also joins Muralitharan’s on the trophy up for grabs in the current Test series. “They enjoyed their success when they played against each other,” Ranatunga said.
Arjuna Ranathunga further said “I know Murali wanted to take at least one wicket more than Shane. I am sure he would have been the same. “One had lots of time to take wicket like Murali, the other had too many top fast bowlers (taking wickets off him).
“Generally Murali is a very competitive guy, it was good when we were playing against Australia because I could get the best from him.” added Ranatunga.
Actually the ceremony of tribute to Warne’ is great and today we all respect him as a former spin great.
Arjuna Ranathunga said SLC and Government continued to conduct international cricket series at this hard time and it is very important at this stage.
Murali talks about Warne in Galle
“Late Spin legend Shane Warne always a good friend of my while we playing from opposite sides and tried to take wickets but off the field we were very good friends.
He was a very good personality with good qualities when we played against each other we were tough bowlers but out of the field we build up good friendship with each other”.
Murali exclusively talk to the Daily News said at this stage SLC ‘tribute to Warne’ is very important while two teams battle for the Murali-Warne trophy. “After 2004 Tsunami Warne became very close to the Sri Lankan people and his support always highly appreciated. After his contribution all cricket lovers much talked about Warne. However unfortunately he died at an unexpected time and today we commemorate him with my fellow cricket team members.
We can’t expected same type of Warne in present cricket but some times more talented bowler can be produced in future but there are many lessons they can get from bowler like Shane Warne,” added Murali .
Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda, de Silva Upul Chandana, Muttaih Muralitharan were came from Colombo to take part this event while Romesh Kaluwitharana who is the Sri Lankan selector on this series and in field umpire Kumar Dharmasena and chairman of the selectors Promodya Wickramasinghe also present with top SLC officials .