Sangakkara’s Much Talked about Talk

Ever since I started watching cricket there is a team I can never support, a team I dislike – It is not Pakistan , not England ( probably the most hated team I guess) – it is Sri Lanka. There is no doubt Sri Lanka has produced some fine cricketers but I’ve never warmed up to liking the team or supporting them. But one player changed my opinion somewhat when I heard him speak in the post-match presentation ( forget his fiasco at the toss). I’ve never confessed owing to my dislike for the team that I’ve secretly enjoyed watching him bat as well – despite him inflicting many a torturous innings on my favourite team.

Kumar Sangakkara became the youngest cricketer and the first Sri Lankan cricketer to be invited to deliver the Colin Cowdrey Spirit of Cricket Lecture at MCC. You can listen to his entire speech here

He speaks about the civil war and the impact on him while he was growing up, the history of Sri Lankan cricket, how Murali’s no-balling incident at MCG 1995 changed the outlook of the SL fans to the game and the cricketers, how the 1996 WC opened cricketing doors to the masses, how the 2004 Tsunami changed his outlook to life when Murali invited him to tour the camps and provide aid to the tsunami destroyed areas, the shooting in Pakistan in 2009 , his talk with the SL soldier post the shooting, his love for the game that has given him much and the country he is so proud of.

All the above are much more to treasure than his much spoken about criticism of SL Board the corruption and politics. As ducking beamers highlights in the fine review of Sangakarra’s speech on his blog the SL Board criticism lasts for about 10 minutes in the 1 hour lecture.

Everyone – cricket fan or not must listen to this man’s speech to learn about Sri Lankan history and the growth of cricket in the small island – it is worth listening to from this eloquent man.

My favourite bit though came in this little titbit he shared during the panel discussion (watch 4:38 onwards)– Yeah SRT fans now you know the reason for RD declaring in Multan.


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