Forget Our Differences For a Greater Sri Lanka – Sanga

“If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.” – Mahatma Gandhi  

At an award ceremony held in Sri Lanka the other day Kumar Sangakkara told the gathering ‘ Forget Our Differences For a Greater Sri Lanka. Sangakkara was regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time in cricket, an elegant stroke player, a reliable keeper was the cornerstone of Sri Lankan cricket for close to 15 years. Sangakkara was a key member of the team that won the 2014 ICC World Twenty 20 and was part of the team that made the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, 2011 Cricket World Cup, 2009 ICC World Twenty 20 and 2012 ICC World Twenty 20. He won the Man of the Match award in the final of the 2014 ICC World Twenty 20, where he helped the team win their first title.

Sangakkara is one of the most polished and prudent is an astute thinker; a Sri Lankan cricket commentator and former cricketer and captain of the Sri Lankan national team. Sangakkara was born in 1977 and spent his childhood in Kandy, received his education at Trinity College, Kandy, an independent elite private boys’ school situated in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, it was his principal who had advised him to concentrate on cricket.

He won a certain degree of admiration for his clever use of sledging and is one of few cricketers to talk about it openly; in an interview in 2004 explained as follows his approach to sledging: “The public perception of sledging is to go out there and abuse someone in obscene language, questioning their parentage or sexual preferences. That kind of abuse does not belong on the field of play. Sledging, as coined and pioneered by the Australians, is a measured comment designed to get a reaction out of a player. It could be any reaction: a bit of anger, a show of arrogance, a comment, a shake of the head, or a slump of the shoulders”.

Sangakkara was the youngest person and the first active international player to deliver the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, which was widely praised by the cricketing community for its outspoken nature. The one-hour-long speech was based on the history and the corruption in the cricket administration in Sri Lanka. In his speech, he said: “accountability and transparency in administration and credibility of conduct were lost in a mad power struggle that would leave Sri Lankan cricket with no clear, consistent administration”, and observed that these problems in administration had risen only after Sri Lanka’s 1996 Cricket World Cup victory. He also blamed “a handful of well-meaning individuals” who control the game, wasting the cricket board’s finances and resources. Immediately after the lecture, the Sri Lankan sports minister ordered an investigation into the speech. Despite the critical comments by the Sri Lankan government officials, it has been described as “the most important speech in cricket history”. In 2019, Kumar Sangakkara was appointed to the role of President of the MCC, the first non-British person to the position since the club was founded in 1787.