Eight bodies, embodying the campaigns of eight groups of warriors and the hopes, aspirations, desires and dreams of their zillions of supporters, were brought to us in this years edition of the Indian Premier League.
Names such as Charles Kortright and Tibby Cotter who were both pre WWI, Jack Gregory, Harold Larwood and Learie Constantine who played between the wars, and then the multitude of quickies since then including Frank Tyson, Wes Hall, Charlie Griffith, Jeff Thompson and Michael Holding are often brought up. One of the more interesting characters included in this elite pace company is a relatively unknown West Indian called Roy Gilchrist, a player whose test career was over by age 24 and his place in cricket history clouded by both on and off-field indiscretions.
When a country is first admitted into the family of test cricketing nations, they usually have a number of competent players without possessing the one or two truly great individuals who can lift the team from the bottom of the table. There are obviously exceptions to this rule, and Sri Lanka were fortunate to commence test cricket in the early 1980’s with a number of very experienced and successful batsmen.
The First and Second World Wars affected the careers of many great players from the cricketing powers of Australia and England. Individuals such as Don Bradman and Walter Hammond missed out on the opportunity to play many more test matches during their peak performing years, however they were still lucky enough to live in a country that played test cricket regularly before and after these interruptions.
The words ‘A star is born and not made’ applies to the talent of a boy born in Matale, a town in the hilly areas of Sri Lanka, on the 27th of October 1977. Kumar Chokshanada Sangakkara happened to be that boy and has come a long way in a journey that has rewarded him with the captaincy of the Sri Lankan national cricket team.