Russell Arnold was one of the mainstays of the Sri Lankan team in the 2000s thanks to his utility cricketing skills. In 44 Tests, he made 1821 runs, and in 180 ODIs, he made 3590 runs and picked 40 wickets.
Recently, he was on an Instagram Live session with R Ashwin and recalled how enraged Sourav Ganguly became during the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy 2002 in Colombo. A simple search on YouTube shows a viral video of Ganguly having a go at Arnold for running on the danger area of the pitch.
Ganguly and the then India wicketkeeper-batsman, Rahul Dravid can be seen telling off Arnold after Sri Lanka batted first on a spinner-friendly wicket.
Talking about the same, Arnold said,” It was the 2002 Champions Trophy, I think. We were playing in Sri Lanka. We were about 200 I think. I remember I had played a delicate late cut and then took 2-3 steps down the wicket. Okay, I can be honest now. It's been 18 years now. I took 2-3 steps down. Everyone does it. Sourav Ganguly came up immediately and made some noise, confronted me.”
The final ended in a no-result after rain played spoilsport even on the reserve day and India and Sri Lanka went on to share the Champions Trophy in 2002. Sri Lanka, who had packed their line-up with spinners, made 200-plus totals on both the days before wet weather interrupted play.
"Nothing happened. Then Rahul Dravid told me 'Russ, don't run on the (danger area) of the pitch'. It was just banter,” Arnold recalls.
He called Ganguly a fierce competitor but mentioned that it was easy to rile him up.
"When we are playing with Sourav... he is a fierce competitor. He will give as good as he gets. It's also a bit easy to wind him up. He always has replied. It was good banter. Nothing more than that. It's all in the game. It was all in the game. It was all in good spirits. I really think it was overblown. It was just 3 steps... 3 strides,” Arnold said.
Here is the video of the infamous incident: