Cook: Run-out row will affect Tests

Alastair Cook, left, believes Sri Lanka

Alastair Cook, left, believes Sri Lanka "crossed a line" at Edgbaston

First published in National Sport News © by

England captain Alastair Cook expects the aggravation over Jos Buttler's controversial run-out at Edgbaston to rage on into the Investec Test series against Sri Lanka.

Cook believes the tourists "crossed a line" on Tuesday when Sachithra Senanayake ran out Buttler, who was backing up at the non-striker's end. In only the eighth similar incident in international cricket history, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews enforced the dismissal.

Mathews and experienced batsman Mahela Jayawardene later made it clear they have no regrets - having been convinced Buttler was trying to steal yards unfairly.

The tourists hope there will be no remnant ill-feeling, but Cook expects otherwise.

Asked if that might be the case in a Test series starting next week, after Sri Lanka had won the Royal London Series 3-2 with a six-wicket success in the decider, Cook said: "Probably, yes.

"It will spice it up a bit - nothing wrong with that."

England were dismissed for 219 in 48.1 overs, with Sri Lanka able to ease to victory.

Cook had to take action last winter when a series of angry confrontations got out of hand during England's descent to an Ashes whitewash in Australia.

He added: "It's just important you let your cricket do the talking as well, and you back up words.

"If he [Mathews] says he's going to do it again, it's up to him.

"As captain of your country, there are certain ways you want your team to operate."

Senanayake, reported after Sri Lanka's series-levelling win at Lord's for a suspect action, will play no part in two Tests - because he has not been selected by Sri Lanka.

It remains to be seen whether the as-yet-uncapped Buttler will be involved for England.

Either way, Jayawardene is hoping there will be no more repercussions.

"We'll play with good spirit, I think," he said.

"We've done that in the past...and we look forward to a very good Test series.

"It will be tough, but we'll pull through."

As for Buttler's dismissal in Birmingham, however, Sri Lanka are unrepentant.

Jayawardene added: "We gave him a fair chance twice - before the first warning as well, we told the umpires that they're taking too much of a lead.

"We had to do that, because they kept doing it.

"At Lord's, they took 22 twos in the last 12 overs. Ravi (Bopara) and he ran riot, and most of the time they were taking starts - which was not legal by the written law.

"We warned the umpires, warned them. They didn't listen to us, so we had to take the right steps.

"The umpires said they would handle it...but obviously didn't.

"We have always tried to play in the right spirit. But if the other teams are not playing with the right spirit, by the law, we had to do this unfortunately."

Sri Lanka feel aggrieved, meanwhile, on behalf of Senanayake - who must now undergo tests on his action under International Cricket Council protocol.

"We are disappointed as a group. That happens when a team-mate is being accused," said Jayawardene.

"He's played for a couple of years with us now, in international cricket...but we'll take it with our heads high."

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