Good stuff from Sangakkara.
End of his career, or the begining of the end at the very least from the looks of things.
Hope he got this guys business card, should be fine if he did.
For as long as there is limited overs cricket - of ten, twenty or fifty overs - there will remain the Sri Lankan spinners' mid-innings choke
Yeah if that guy is on his side, he's safe.
My respect for Sanga has shot to sky-high levels. He has expressed himself quite beautifully.
Sanga is easily the most articulate current cricketer there is this guy Akash Chopra but he was hardly a cricketer.
Finally had the time to listen to the full lecture
Wonderful tribute from LegSideFilth:
There are some things that need to be said, and that take one man, standing in a room in front of others, and an uninterrupted length of time in which to say them.
And last night, while sitting at my laptop, I listened, live and in real time, to Kumar Sangakkara do just that.
Sangakkara is a remarkable individual. Intelligent in an age in which it is unfashionable to be so, a lover of literature in a world where admitting you have never read a single book since you left school is worn as a badge of pride. All that and a cover-drive, as Christopher Martin-Jenkins memorably said in his introduction, to rival Wally Hammond’s.
As this year’s speaker at the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, Sangakkara admitted there were many things he could have talked about: spot-fixing, the DRS, the future of Tests and various other issues that have featured heavily on cricket’s radar lately.
That he chose to speak about Sri Lankan cricket in its context of an island nation torn apart by war, and his experiences growing up during it, all the way through to the national team’s World Cup triumph in ‘96, the tsunami of 2009 and the attack on the team bus in Lahore, was really nothing less than you would expect from a classy individual who takes his responsibility as a sportsman and as an ambassador for his country very seriously indeed.
During the one hour Sangakkara spoke, he did what only great writers or orators can do: transport the audience from its comfort zone and enable it to experience the unfamiliar, and, in the case of the incident in Lahore, the terrifying.
Sangakkara’s retelling of this was utterly gripping; bullets hitting the bus “like rain on a tin roof”, Sangakkara’s moving his head seconds before a bullet burying itself in the side of the seat where his head had just been, Tharanga Paranavitana, on his debut tour, standing up and yelling that he had been hit:
"I see him and I think: “Oh my God, you were out first ball, run out the next innings and now you have been shot. What a terrible first tour.”
It is strange how clear your thinking is. I did not see my life flash by. There was no insane panic. There was absolute clarity and awareness of what was happening at that moment.
I hear the bus roar in to life and start to move. Dilshan is screaming at the driver: “Drive…Drive”. We speed up, swerve and are finally inside the safety of the stadium.
We all sit in the dressing room and talk. Talk about what happened. Within minutes there is laughter and the jokes have started to flow. We have for the first time been a target of violence. We had survived.
We all realized then what some of our fellow Sri Lankans experienced every day for nearly 30 years. There was a new respect and awe for their courage and selflessness.
We were shot at, grenades were thrown at us, we were injured and yet we were not cowed. We were not down and out. “We are Sri Lankan,” we thought to ourselves, “and we are tough and we will get through hardship and we will overcome because our spirit is strong.”
I admit that while Sangakkara was recounting this, there were times during this part that I had to remind myself to breathe.
Sangakkara was also scathingly critical of the damage done to Sri Lankan cricket since 1996 through the self-interest of certain individuals interested only in two things: money, and power.
"Accusations of vote buying and rigging, player interference due to lobbying from each side and even violence at the AGMs, including the brandishing of weapons and ugly fist fights, have characterised cricket board elections for as long as I can remember.
We have to aspire to better administration. The administration needs to adopt the same values enshrined by the team over the years: integrity, transparency, commitment and discipline."
This is, of course, particularly relevant given the ICC’s new recommendation that all national boards make themselves free of political interference within two years. Given Sanath Jayasuriya has only recently flown home after being foisted onto the national team for a grand total of two matches by his country’s government, it would seem Sri Lanka has some way to go in this. It has also now transpired that sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage “has ordered Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Interim Committee to examine the remarks made by Sangakkara during the lecture,” according to the country’s national news agency.
In this respect, it’s not been a great few weeks for cricket.
England’s dire showing in the last two ODIs aside, politics has been foisting its corrupt, immoral and bloated self-interest on the sport too often for my liking. The Jayasuriya affair, the 2009 genocide of the Tamils, the demonstrations outside cricket grounds, hell, even boggle-eyed Eurosceptic and professional little-Englander Nigel Farage made an unwelcome (by me, anyway) appearance in the TMS box.
I’m an idealist, but I am also a realist.
Sport and politics are inseparable: ‘twas always thus, and always will be. Cricket has at various times been the sport of colonial oppressors, an opiate for the masses, and a tool for propaganda, the acceptable face of oppressive regimes to present to the wider global community as “proof” of their reasonableness and fair play.
Sometimes I think we cling to cricket because, like a great number 3 batsman, it provides us with an anchor, something around which this whole crazy and often ****ed-up innings called life can revolve and which can get us through to stumps with some respectability. We wish to live our lives the way we would wish to see our cricket played, so we can hold the mirror of one up to the other and not have it break with an almighty crack.
Kumar Sangakkara expressed this more eloquently than I or anyone else ever could when he said at the end of his speech:
"My loyalty will be to the ordinary Sri Lankan fan, their 20 million hearts beating collectively as one to our island rhythm and filled with an undying and ever-loyal love for this our game.
Fans of different races, castes, ethnicities and religions who together celebrate their diversity by uniting for a common national cause. They are my foundation, they are my family. I will play my cricket for them. Their spirit is the true spirit of cricket. With me are all my people. I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan."
I admit I am a cynic. I look for ulterior motives in most things. It does not make me paranoid: it makes me prepared.
I know that in reality, there is rarely any such thing as a unifying force for good.
But when Kumar Sangakkara tells me that cricket can be just that, I believe him.
haha......yeah.....if Akash Chopra's cricketing skills were anywhere close to his writing skills he would have made a great cricketer
And smalishah's avatar is the most classy one by far Jan certainly echoes the sentiments of CW
Yeah we don't crap in the first world; most of us would actually have no idea what that was emanating from Ajmal's backside. Why isn't it roses and rainbows like what happens here? PEWS's retort to Ganeshran on Daemon's picture depicting Ajmal's excreta
Amazing lecture. He was so measured.
Sanga knows he's untouchable in SL cricket. WAG!
"I am very happy and it will allow me to have lot more rice."
Eoin Morgan on being given a rice cooker for being Man of the Match in a Dhaka Premier Division game.
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