Sangakkara is still scoring

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By 2017-09-26

By Dyan Pathiravithana

CT Spots: It was a mortal sin to have let Kumar Sangakkara go so soon. In his final county season for Surrey he was still able to score eight centuries, at an aggregate of 1300 odd runs in 13 games and the Surrey supporters were thrilled. Coming off the ground at close on 119 n.o., they applauded the 40-year-old Sangakkara, known as 'the King', calling out to him 'four more', indicating they want him to be with them until he is 44. Sanga batted and ran like a boy half his age and finally went on to make 157.

When considering these comments it makes the heart skip a beat gives the heart a little bit of pounding that the decision made by Sanga is irrevocable. What this unselfish cricketer did was reasonable when he made the statement it was for the sake of youngsters and the future of cricket in the country he took this decision. What hits the heart was the fact that he was still at the helm with his batting and what a contribution he would have made today for Sri Lanka, the very Sri Lankans who were boisterous enough to throw plastic bottles on to the ground and invade it: This would never have happened if Sri Lanka could have matched Kohli and company.

That this was not to be so makes you mad; you have the anger in your guts when you realize the strongest could be weakened with performances that are taking place 8000 odd kilometres away. Sri Lanka is a country full of such unfortunate happenings, when considering the things that were within their grasp but could not cling on to. Reasons are beyond ones thinking as to why these have to be so. It is certain that this may not have been the way Sanga wanted it to be as even the Englishmen watching him today want him to carry on, Sri Lankans did not appreciate him enough.

There were times when the team failed people questioned him. Some scribes were of the opinion that he was more interested in his personal performance. There is no athlete who goes into competition and does well without such thoughts of personal best achievement in mind. An athlete that grows is always aware of the competition and their performance and based on that goes on to outperform them. If that is called personal, well any team would love such performances and encourage such players.

Here was a man that Sri Lanka should have paid more attention to, simply because of the influence gained by him in the circles of cricket. He spoke not only with his bat, but was also accepted for the deep knowledge he carried outside of the game as shown in his Colin Cowdrey speech and his open mindedness presenting it. In the years following in the speech made by Brendon McCullum, a pillar of recent international cricket, spoke of Sri Lankan cricketers in the likes of Mahela, Murali and Sanga and referred to an on field incident.

Even after the incident was a forgotten affair, Brendon was big enough to apologize about it to Sanga and clear the minds of those in the audience talking about how Mahela reacted to the run out Brendon made. All three of them were Sri Lankans big enough to have gained respect from the entire cricketing world. Unfortunately there were those in the local cricket circles who could not stomach the respect these three commanded and always looked for ways to belittle them, especially those politicians wanting the top cricketers to bring them votes being seen together more often. This was a sure way to make a majority of the public believe them to be powerful and thereby dodge getting investigated. These activities only helped move the cricketers away from cricket. Even today the Sports Minister who talks about cricketers being pot bellied will not bother with those really at the bottom of ruining the spirit of cricket by having a voting system that makes certain only money has the potential to bring them to power. This is a sure way to get rid of the people who really love the game being involved with the real development cricket needs to be up there among champions. Mahela and Sanga and even Murali, Vass, Dilshan have the potential to uplift the game here and they have to act while they still have the recognition and backing of contemporaries in other cricket organizations who played the game with them.

Bringing in Wettimuny in an interim committee did not make enough ripples as would have if it happened in the nineties when cricket was cleaner. The entire country would back any of those cricketers being in high positions to help the cause of Sri Lanka's cricket better than the businessmen who crept in and ruined Sri Lanka's cricketing reputation, with willingness to even bring in people running from the law in the country looking for places to hide their faces.

With what is going on at present and if some further sense is pumped into the heads of those heading cricket now, may be those with real potential and influence will be kind enough to open their eyes and take a closer look at what is wrong and how it could be corrected for real.

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