SYDNEY (Reuters) – As Mark Twain might have said, rumors of the death of Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath which spread like wildfire across social media late on Friday proved to be greatly exaggerated.
Far from lying in a Sydney morgue alongside former test bowler Chaminda Vaas after perishing in a car crash as the reports had suggested, Herath was very much alive when he pitched up for work at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday.
“I heard about it when we having breakfast but I had no idea where that came from,” he said with a laugh.
“Guys from Sri Lanka were calling us asking ‘when is the funeral?’ and stuff like that.
“Rangana is alive,” he added, somewhat unnecessarily.
That could all change, however, if he and Dinesh Chandimal, who finished the third day unbeaten on 22, are able to dig in on Sunday, inflate their lead beyond the current 87 and give Sri Lanka a decent target to bowl at.
The Sydney track has traditionally offered a lot of turn for spinners in the last couple of days of a test and, as Herath’s 60 wickets last year showed, there are few better spinners operating in test cricket at the moment.
“The wicket is turning a lot now and the Aussie guys are playing the fourth innings, so I think Rangana… can do something,” said Karunaratne.
Vaas has no position with the test team and remains, also unharmed, in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan reporters said.
(Editing by John O’Brien)