Former Sri Lankan wicket-keeper Hashan Tillakaratne believes that Martin Crowe deserved to pass Garry Sobers world record 365 in 1991.
Crowe, who died of cancer yesterday aged 53, was dismissed for 299, but Tillakaratne remembers that the Sri Lanka team were convinced he would score a triple hundred and then break Sobers’ world record for the highest individual score in Tests.
“First of all I want to send my condolences to Martin Crowe’s family,” Tillakaratne said. “He was one of the finest batsman the world has seen.He was a technician. When I was a kid I watched him when he came to Sri Lanka under Jeff Howarth’s captaincy. I went to the SSC to see his batting”.
Tillakaratne had been instrumental in denying Crowe his Test triple hundred against Sri Lanka at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
“I was very fortunate to play against Martin when I toured New Zealand,” Tillakaratne remembered. “In the 1st Test in Wellington we were dominating with a lead of 300-plus so we were pretty certain of winning, but our dreams were shattered when he scored a magnificent 299.
“I was keeping wickets,” he continued. “He deserved triple ton but I took the catch off the bowling of Ranatunga. The way he was going I thought he will break Sobers’ record. After the game when I went to shake hands with him he was in tears. He was very upset that he couldnt make milestone.
“Conditions didnt matter to him. He could play anywhere and in any conditions. I have seen two players who handled Murali well. One was Lara and the other was Martin (Crowe).
“It is a great loss to cricketing world.RIP Martin!”
He has toured UAE, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Malaysia, to name a few, and contributes to a large number of newspapers in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
His twitter bio reads: Eat cricket stories, drink cricket stories, sleep cricket stories.
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