Of late, it seems India play Sri Lanka in some form of cricket just about every other month. These matches, especially one-dayers, have little charm and no one really remembers anything much about them. Sri Lankan cricketers have suffered from over-exposure in India, which is such a pity when you think of the soft caress of Mahela Jayawardene’s strokeplay or the elegance of Kumar Sangakkara, to mention just two of their finest.
sunil-in-full-flow  Sunil Wettimuny bats against Australia in the 1975 World Cup, before he was forced to retire hurt, courtesy Thommo © Getty Images
There was a time, back in the 1970s, when cricketers from Sri Lanka were exotic and rare creatures, who created quite an impact on schoolboys like me in Madras. We caught a glimpse of them during the annual MJ Gopalan Trophy (thankfully now revived after a long hiatus), which pitted the Sri Lankans against the Tamil Nadu state team. The matches were three-day affairs and often keenly contested. And there was the unofficial two-Test series between a near-full-strength Indian team in its pomp and the Sri Lankans in early 1974. Though India won 1-0, the home team more than held their own.