It is one of the most famous sleds in Australian cricket history, but the reality is that it just didn’t happen.
Sri Lanka’s 1995-96 tour of Australia was mired in controversy. From bullet tampering charges, which the great Richie Benaud described as akin to a French farce, to Boxing Day test which saw Muttiah Muralitharan without a bullet for throwing.
In the final one-day match of the summer at SCG, Healy and Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga engaged in a heated showdown, after the spirited skipper called up a runner.
Ranatunga, who used to upset opposition teams, said he had cramps.
Wicket keeper Ian Healy reportedly responded with a line that has fallen into cricket folklore.
“You don’t have a runner to be a big c —“, Healy reportedly said.
But as is often the case, the facts have become distorted over the years.
“It didn’t happen,” Healy told Wide World of Sports.
“What I said was, ‘You can’t have a runner to be unfit.’
“His response was that he had cramps. And I said, ‘You have cramps because you’re fat. Look at you. “
“And that was it.”
The situation threatened to turn ugly when Ranatunga faced off against Healy, forcing Australian skipper Mark Taylor to intervene.
“Arjuna has run over to me, so Tubby is yelling at me from the midwicket, telling me to step aside. And I’m nodding that I haven’t said anything bad,” Healy said.
“And as Arjuna ran towards me, I said, ‘Well your leg is fine now champion.’
“Then I called the referee, Peter Parker, and I said, ‘It’s going to be fair, Porky, you have the fastest man in the world, (Sanath) Jayasuriya, running for the man. slowest in the world, Arjuna. ‘
“That’s how it all happened. It wasn’t mean or anything. I don’t like to see the big line c — being written in the books, it’s horrible, and that is not true. “
Healy confirmed that he had seen Ranatunga in the years since their retirement, and noted that his position as captain was exactly what Sri Lanka needed at this point in their development.
“I keep in touch with Arjuna through his cousin,” Healy said.
“I have had dinner with him several times.
“He was confrontational, but I thought it was a nice kind of confrontation and firmness.
“He was doing what Virat Kohli is doing now with India, he was leading them out of submission, leading them from a submissive mindset to a competitive mindset, not to back down. I think he did. did it very well, he wasn’t too confrontational.
“He was strong, as you should be at this level of cricket.”
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