Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Middle Stump guide to Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankans have arrived for a short series and kicked their tour off against Essex last night. Being the cultural bastards that we are here at The Middle Stump, we give you the guide that you will need to refer to over the next month or so, as you share an arrack with your new found friends at the Test match. Seriously it is a wonderful, beautiful place and our cultural guide will give you a far better understanding of all things Sri Lankan. However we wish to point out that we take absolutely no responsibility should the following end up in a good hiding for you or your friends;

Ages - the amount of time it takes for Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas to sign an autograph.

Angelo - a song in the seventies by the shockingly shite Brotherhood of Man. Oh and the Christian name of Sri Lankan, Matthews.

Arrack - the national drink of Sri Lanka and a cross between rum and whiskey. Should your guests offer you a sip of this coconut based drink, check that your motor is firmly at home before accepting. If you think that Murali blew the English batting away at the Oval in 1998 with sixteen wickets in the match, see what this stuff does!

Bunsen - whilst Murali isn't playing these days, do NOT prepare one of these under any circumstances like we did at The Oval. Galle is a proper bunsen.

Ceylon - the old name for Sri Lanka and one which our friend of the Middle Stump and a legend in North London cricket, Brian Labrooy represented numerous times in unofficial Tests. England and Australia regularly would stop off there when they travelled by boat, before the island was given Test status in 1982. Brian tells us Freddie Truman was fairly sharp, but Tyson was seriously quick.

Colombo - the capital of Sri Lanka and not to be confused with a detective series from the seventies starring Peter Falk.

The capital of Sri Lanka

Curry - I love a Sri Lankan curry and had many over the years courtesy of the afore mentioned Brian Labrooy's wife. Completely different from most Indian cuisine, as most Indian restaurants here are Bangladeshi anyway, this is similar to southern Indian food such as those served in Kerala. Sri Lankan curries involve lots of fish, and often use coconut milk, along with all the c's - cardomon, cumin and coriander. The word curry derives from the Tamil word for sauce. Hoppers are small snacks served for breakfast and not the medium pace served up by Maharoof.

De Silva - Aravinda De Silva was an outstanding batsman. If anyone disagrees I should ask them to watch a re run of his innings versus England at Lord's in 1991. Class.

Dilscoop - not what you do when you want second helpings of one of the delicious curries mentioned above, but the trademark shot of Tillekeratne Dilshan. It involves scooping the ball from in front of your body and over the keepers head for a boundary. I tried it once with my son and a tennis ball and just hit it straight into my face. Requires lots of practice.

Dyslexia - your average Sri Lankan, or Sinhalese name can give dyslexics nightmares. As could the old Gloucestershire bowler Brian Brain. As could ex Play School presenter Brian Cant.

Farbrace - the England assistant manager who has just joined from, err Sri Lanka.

Galle - quite possibly the most beautiful venue in world cricket. Cape Town is stunning, so is Adelaide and so is Worcester but Galle with the sea on two sides and the old fort in the back drop is a wonderful venue. Not so wonderful if you can't play spin and Murali has a ball in his hand twenty two yards away.

Gardening Leave - what the Sri Lankan Cricket Board should have put Paul Farbrace on so that he couldn't coach against them straight away.

Grope - nothing to do with Operation Yewtree, this is what the English batting of the nineties regularly did as they fumbled with Murali's doosra.

Heat - this place gets seriously hot. Like 45 degrees on a regular basis, and with the humidity thrown in too, you are sweating like Gary Barlow when the tax man approaches.


Jayasuriya - if I had to list all of his records it would take me longer than it takes Chaminda Vaas to write his full name. 400 ODI's tells a story about his longevity.

Jayawardene - class. Just class.

Kandy - nothing to do with the Bow Wow Wow single in 1982 but a major city in the heart of the island. A UNESCO World Heritage site and also a centre for Buddhism. Culture? We shit it here at The Middle Stump.

Kulasekara - a Sri Lankan bowler and not to be confused with the pop group Kula Shaker.

Lahore - the scene of the lowest point of Sri Lankan cricket. The team were attacked by terrorists in 2009 leading to the deaths of five policemen.

Malinga - Malinga the Slinger is one of the best 'death' bowlers in the world. He has taken three ODI hat tricks in his career and a four in four balls against South Africa. Great bowler, poor hairstyle.

Mendis - Ajantha is the only bowler to take two six wicket hauls in T20.

Muttiah Muralitharan - 800 Test wickets, 534 ODI wickets the man could only be more of a magician should you pop a toupee on his head and call him Paul Daniels. The source of much amusement, he would often tell his Lancashire team mates that, "Today, I am slogging" before going out to bat.

Murali straightens his arm for the ICC inspectorate

No Ball - Darrel Hair called Murali for chucking and much of his career was questioned whether he did or didn't. Did he? Well he was cleared by the ICC so that is good enough. Does Senenayaka? Probably.

Nondescripts - the name of one of the domestic teams in Sri Lankan cricket. And that is all I can think of to describe them.

Prime Minister - Sri Lanka has a Prime Minister. When he is amusing, his friends often text him with PMSL.

Ranatunga - Arjuna. A man who was about as popular as a turd in a swimming pool. Alec Stewart once told him that he had "behaved disgracefully for a captain of an international team".

Runner - Ian Healy once famously responded to the rotund Ranatunga when he asked for a runner with, "You don't get a runner for being a fat, unfit c**t". Unfortunately this was picked up on the stump microphone and broadcast live across Australia.

Healy and Ranatunga

Russell Arnold - why do some Sri Lankans have long unpronouncable names and then you have names such as Russell Arnold, I hear you ask? Well the long names are Sinhalese who make up much of the countries population, and then in the north east of the country you have the Tamils. Many Europeans settled here back in the day, hence why you get a lot of Portuguese names such as De Silva, Dutch names such as Labrooy and then the odd English name like Russell Arnold. They also had a bloke called John in the 1983 World Cup. I kid you not.

Sangakkara - outstanding keeper and batsman. A qualified lawyer, he has one of the funniest sledges ever telling Shaun Pollock that he pressure on him during a World Cup game.

Silverware - Not to be confused with Aravinda De Silvaware. ODI Champions in 1996 and runners up in 2007 and 2011. T20 Champions in 2014 and runners up in 2012. Impressive hey? Puts us to shame.

Tamil Tigers - not a new franchise in the IPL but a group who would like independence for the Tamil community from the rest of Sri Lanka.

Vaas - Chaminda Vaas was a tall left armer who once took eight wickets in an ODI. He also kicked off a game v Bangladesh in 2003 by taking three wickets with the first three balls of the game.

Zoysa - took three wickets in the first three balls of a Test match before Chaminda emulated him five years later. This time v Zimbabwe in 1998. They do like a hat trick this lot.

1 comment:

  1. Also: Perera (take your pick of several), not to be confused with Perrier water.