Sri Lanka captain Kusal Mendis courted controversy on Sunday when he refused to congratulate Indian batting star Virat Kohli for scoring his 49th ODI hundred in the game against South Africa in the ICC World Cup 2023.
Birthday boy Kohli equalled Sachin Tendulkar's world record for the most ODI centuries after his unbeaten 101 helped India crush the Proteas by 243 runs in Match 37 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Mendis was addressing a press conference on the eve of Sri Lanka's next game against Bangladesh in Delhi when a reporter informed him of Kohli's achievement and asked if he would like to congratulate the former India skipper.
But Mendis refused and the video of the incident has gone viral on social media.
Reporter: "Virat Kohli has just scored his 49th ODI ton. Would you like to congratulate him?"
Kusal Mendis: "Why would I want to congratulate him."
BAN vs SL under threat
As uncertainty surrounds their World Cup match against Bangladesh owing to the toxic air condition here, Sri Lankan cricket team manager Mahinda Halangoda said on Sunday that they are in touch with a medical panel and will abide by the decision of International Cricket Council (ICC) with regards to the game on Monday.
Halangoda, however, clarified that Sri Lanka have not pleaded with the ICC for a change of venue for Monday's match.
"We are constantly in touch with our medical panel back in Sri Lanka. Actually, the professor who is in charge is already in India. He had come for a conference and we are in touch with him through the team doctor.
"Definitely we will be looking at the index. But obviously, we will be guided by the ICC and I think they have a medical panel here and, so, they will be giving us instructions.
"Today when we came, we were told to wear masks. But it depends on what the outside index is, and then we'll make a call on it," said Halangonda.
The Lankan team was forced to cancel its training on Saturday after air pollution reached dangerous levels with the Air Quality Index (AQI) hovering above the 400-mark for the last four days.