Admirers of the elegant excellence of Kumar Sangakkara and fans of cricketing scandal will be bitterly disappointed to learn that a story that ran on the website of Sri Lanka’s reputed Island newspaper proclaiming the return of Sangakkara for today’s third ODI against Bangladesh was nothing more than an April Fool’s joke.
The story said that it was a decision taken in desperation by chairman of selectors Sanath Jayasuriya, who coaxed the great left-hander, retired for two years, to come back to the fold.
Jayasuriya was quoted as saying that it was kept under wraps to surprise Bangladesh, who lead the series 0-1 going into the decider. Sri Lanka being in danger of missing out on the 2019 World Cup qualification was another justification to bring back the man known as Sanga.
Clues were there in the story that this was no more than an April Fool’s joke. The last paragraph said that the eleven for today’s ODI would be unchanged from the one that played the second ODI in Dambulla.
Now, we don’t know if you have noticed, but Sangakkara did not play in the second ODI. He is also currently on way to Surrey. According to the Island reporter responsible for the story, he also had a good laugh when warned about the joke yesterday.
To complete the illusion, Island tacked Sangakkara’s name at the end of the Sri Lanka squad. It would have been a comeback to rival a Hollywood action thriller, but it turned out to be pure comedy.