Amid COVID-19, the cricketers are busy spending most of their time on social media platforms. The players have also introduced a new trend of conducting live sessions with other cricketers. Meanwhile, Russell Arnold, the former Sri Lankan cricketer also joined the bandwagon.
On Monday, he was involved in a candid session with the Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the latest episode of ‘Reminisce with Ash’. During the interaction, the former player revealed that his heated banter with Sourav Ganguly in 2002 Champions Trophy was overblown in the public domain.
In 2002 Champions Trophy, India and Sri Lanka were the two teams that reached in the finals. However, the final on a draw as the rain played spoilsport. Later on, both the finalists shared the winning trophy. In that match, before the match was called off, Russel Arnold and Sourav Ganguly were spotted having an argument.
Russel Arnold was recently in conversation with Ravi Ashwin
In a live session with the Indian spinner, Russel Arnold said that it was 2002 Champions Trophy final and Sri Lanka was batting before rain played its part. He added that while batting, he played a late cut and ran a couple of steps on the wicket. As per him, the Sourav Ganguly, the then Indian skipper came and warned him not to run on the wicket. Afterwards, Rahul Dravid also asked him not to run on the danger area.
He cited the fact that when Sri Lanka used to play against India, it was quite easy to poke Sourav Ganguly, who was a tough competitor. Arnold also pointed out that it all happened within the spirit of the game but it was overblown in the media.
“It was the 2002 Champions Trophy, I think. We were playing in Sri Lanka. We were about 200 I think. I remember I had played a delicate late cut and then took 2-3 steps down the wicket. Okay, I can be honest now. It’s been 18 years now. I took 2-3 steps down. Everyone does it. Sourav Ganguly came up immediately and made some noise, confronted me.
“Nothing happened. Then Rahul Dravid told me ‘Russ, don’t run on the (danger area) of the pitch’. It was just banter. When we are playing with Sourav… he is a fierce competitor. He will give as good as he gets. It’s also a bit easy to wind him up. He always has replied.”
“It was good banter. Nothing more than that. It’s all in the game. It was all in the game. It was all in good spirits. I really think it was overblown. It was just 3 steps… 3 strides,” Russel Arnold told Ashwin during the live session on Instagram.