Dear Sanga
Posted on July 12th, 2011

C.Seneviratne UK

WeƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  were all thrilled to hear the rare honour bestowedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  uponƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sangakkara to deliver the MCC Cowdrey lecture.DeliverƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ he did to receiveƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ a standing ovation at the end.He spoke at length of the long journey of Sri Lankan cricket through theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ trials and tribulations of the country.He delvedƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ into the proud history of Sri Lanka over 2500 years though failed to mention about the inspiration heƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ and certainly the country got from Buddhism.
No Sri Lankan would disagree with the corruption and fraud allegations against the Sri Lankan Board but the factƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sanga deliberately avoided naming BCCI or IPL where such are alleged to happen in monumental nature showsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ his hypocricy.Not long ago Lalit Modi was removed from his post.Had Sanga done so he knew his IPL packageƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ would beƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ over.
The alleged problems in BCCI andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Pakistan Board dwarf ours into oblivion. Sanga could have easily spoken out against Asian Boards in general terms rather than sling mud at SLC in a distinguished gathering in London. Ruining our country’s name for personal vendetta should be thoroughly denounced.
Sanga is intelligent without a doubtƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ though lacked the capacity on this occasion to anticipate the big headlines that wouldƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ splash in the world mediaƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ smearing Sri Lanka as a whole.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Any responsibleƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sri Lankan should be aware that in the current sensitiveƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ climax,an iota of information against a Sri Lankan government intitution or Ministry would be pounced upon by a waiting pack of hungry international media with ulterior motives to discredit the whole country. Though most of his speech was great, all that has splashed in the UK media was only the piece where he castigated the Board though this tooƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ wasƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ summarily twisted to attack the Sri Lankan government.Peter RoebuchƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ is quick toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ mention ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ allegations of rapes and executions and Channel 4 killings in his pieceƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  onƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sanga’s speech andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ this is what every body talks aboutƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ aftermath ofƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ his speech in a cleverly orchestered campaign.Sad that Sanga has been naive to fall fodder or was he lured?Now we hear his speech has been theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ catalyst for theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Australian team to consider stopping touring the country!
When an executive publicly critizesƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  his organisation of its shortcomings,he will be kicked out without hesitation and rightly so.Sanga is an employee of the SL Board.Has the IPL packet given him theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ security to face any eventuality andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ has he been manipulated by some vested parties there?Will he soon become another victim of IPL to SL cricket.
Before giving further food to international gangs, if he is sacked or punished,I will call upon Sanga to bite the bullet and make a public apology soonƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ to defuse the situation and prevent further disrepute to the country.
In the past some of our sportsmen like the cyclists had the habit of vanishing into thin air while abroad.Similar trends seems to be developing with our cricketers opening their mouths while on tour with Attapattu’s case not too far in the distance.I wonder whether SB Dissanayake has a role to play here who could in collaboration with the sports ministry organise regular Leadership and Governance Programmes for our cricketers to safeguard the good name of our country in the future.

16 Responses to “Dear Sanga”

  1. Samson Says:

    Very good point.

    While he alleged cricket has gone for money, he avoided stating that he was sold for a few hundred thousand dollars at the IPL crickers auction.

    We still remember how difficult it was to get Sanga, Mahela and other senior players to tour England for the second time from lucrative IPL! The minister made it compulsory to take part in national team events before IPL. That obviously angered some. Did we see it’s reaction?

  2. Nanda Says:

    Senevi Ayya,
    This is an extremely childish alegation.
    Whay should Snaga talk about Indian cricket board ?
    Sanaga did not come there to complain about world cricket.
    It has been 2- 3 years now, since the power balance in ICC shifted in favour of Indan Board, all Sudda countries UK,AUS,NZ jointly started accusing subcontinent cricke boards of fraud. Are joining these westerners in bashing Indian cricket. I have to ask you to go and get some education.

    Atapattu’s case was different. he use tatally wrong language and not professional at all. It is not only the selectors were puppets. How about puppets them selves who are using political power to saty in the team ? Sanga did not accuse any fellow cricketer, even though some dreaded, greedy cricketers using politicians to stay in the team.

    Personally I don’t like IPL ruining our cricket. But just because Sanga did not mention IPL ( which is compeltely out of contest) you are calling him hypocrit.
    In that case he must talk about Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Malaysia or even Indonisea ( even though they don;t play cricket) whereever corruption is present. How about huge corruption in UK ? Telephone tapping ? Should he talk about all these rubbish ?

    To me, he gave the most important message that how SL suffered from terror and how humane our soldiers are, at atime of BBC C4 alegations. That is excellent and comendable.
    Don’t talk nonsense.

  3. Jayantha Says:

    Sanga was very straight forward and he spoke elequently and logically about his country’s cricket. Cricket is all about fair play and it is a gentlemens’ game. It is about time someone stood up and reminded all those who care for this noble game what fair play is about. The Sri Lankans in particular must talk about cricket in Sri Labnka and let all of us know what ails it. Not about cricket in the region. That was not one of Sanga’s missions.

    At a time when everything is blackmail, nepotism, partisan, thuggery and how to line up your pockets it is high time a person of Sanga’s stature remind us to open our eyes. Why

    worry about India, Pakinstan and other cricketing nations, let us put our house in order. Sanga never ran Sri Lanka down, but our sports ministry and the board ran greats like Sanga down, caused them so much disillusion they quit.

    MCC is one of the most honourable and prestigious institutions that is still left in Britain, unscathed by corruption, free of political infighting, uninfluenced by the disgruntled few in the world and free of supporters of dangerous terror orginations like the Al Quaeda and the LTTE.

    Sanga never insulted Sri Lanka or our people. If one is educated enough and has bare minimum command of the english language he or she will agree. I am proud to be a Sri Lanka Sanga, many thanks for a brave speech.


  4. Marco Says:

    The author may well like to read (again) the opening few sentances and i qoute

    “This lecture is all about the Spirit of the Game and in this regard the story of cricket in Sri Lanka is fascinating. Cricket in Sri Lanka is no longer just a sport: it is a shared passion that is a source of fun and a force for unity. It is a treasured sport that occupies a celebrated place in our society.”

    “I therefore decided that tonight I would like to talk about the Spirit of Sri Lanka’s cricket”

    His statement, “My responsibility as a Sri Lankan cricketer is to further enrich this beautiful sport, to add to it and enhance it and to leave a richer legacy for other cricketers to follow. I will do that keeping paramount in my mind my Sri Lankan identity: play the game hard and fair and be a voice with which Sri Lanka can speak proudly and positively to the world,” bears no malice towards anyone but it is a voice crying out to save Sri Lanka cricket to where it is heading.

    It’s not about BCCI, IPL or personal reasons or egos. (Sanga and wife Yehali together with Murali only recently visited Jaffna, St Patricks College to be feted without the fanfare of publicity, media circuses that we usually see with politicians)

    I for one would agree with Peter Roebuck assertion “only those with empires to protect will resent his words. Only those blighted with the curse of nationalism will deny him his voice. He spoke as a patriot, a higher calling altogether.”

  5. Dham Says:

    I fully agree. I extremely disappointed with our UK friends. Ben Silva first and now the Seneviratna. They have absolutely no logic in arguments.
    No wonder C4 and tigers doing well in UK.

    “lacked the capacity on this occasion to anticipate the big headlines that would splash in the world media smearing Sri Lanka as a whole¨

    Are we supposed say yes to all the stupid work SL cricket done ? Who on this earth could say yes to bringing rich man Jayasuriya just to pay farewell to him on SL cricketś money ?
    Those betrayers of the country killed our world cup chances and ruined SL cricket and still doing it and do we have to approve it ?
    Get lost !
    Well done Sanga. We are with you ( as long as you do not join your captain cool !)

  6. SenaD Says:

    Dear CJ,

    Your contention that Sanga should not have talked aboult the corruption in SLCB to avoid giving another talking point to the enemies of Sri Lanka is not justifiable, because had he done so it would have been a big void in his speech.

    Only someone of his calibre within the SL Cricket could raise the issue, though you are technically correct to say that as an employee of the SLC he is not entitled to do so publicly.

    On the other hand, is there any point in complaining behind the scene within the ‘system’ that the ‘system’ is corrupted?.

    If he were to make that speech after retirement from SLC it would be easily dimissed as sour grapes.

  7. charithsls Says:

    Has anybody heard of ‘don’t wash your linen in public’, and that’s what Sanga did.Have those who support Sanga’s speech heard what was broadcast over UK media immediately after his speech berating Sri Lanka,not SL cricket Board.Don’t give an inch to your enemy and that was what Sanga did (unintensionally).What happens when you put a little dirt to a full bowl of milk?Don’t have the frog in the well attitude telling what is reported in UK is not important.What is reported in the West & US etc is more important to SL than what is published inside.
    Here we got some people who because of such corruption in the SLC are blinded to the harm Sanga did to the country as a whole.

  8. Rohan8 Says:

    People should lay off Sanga as much as I like cricket even I understand that only a handful countries play it. Outside of these very few countries that play cricket no one will care what Sanga said. Its amazing that Sanga speech has generated so much interest in a website which should be focussing on more important matters. Its not as if Sanga was a footballer giving a speech at FIFA headquarters. Now that would have a genuine global impact. Not cricket. Sorry Sri Lankans Cricket is not a global sport. Only Sri Lankans would be dumb enough to care that Sanga speech would adversely affect the image of Sri Lanka how pathetic!

  9. Nanda Says:

    In UK SriLanka is famous for few things only.
    2. Cricket
    3. LTTE
    I am not trying to teach you anything, but with this 1,2,3 see how his speech is relevant.

  10. cassandra Says:


    I am sorry but I think you’ve got this one wrong.

    It is not fair to say “he was sold for a few hundred thousand dollars at the IPL cricketers auction” as if Sangakkara had done some disgraceful thing. Sangakkara is a professional cricketer who makes a living from using his talent and skills as a player. In choosing to play in the IPL, he is not different to – or less honourable than – the likes of Tendulkar, Gilchrist, Warne and a host of other international cricketers, in offering his services and being paid for it. Let’s face it – whatever our occupation, all of us sell our services for money. What is so different when a professional cricketer does that? I know that a good professional cricketer will make in a very short time, more than my earnings in a lifetime, but I have no problem if he gets handsomely rewarded for his efforts, provided he earns his money legitimately and without cheating or engaging in unbecoming conduct.

    No, I do NOT remember “how difficult it was to get Sanga, Mahela and other senior players to tour England for the second time from lucrative IPL!” That is NOT what I recall. I cannot remember there being any such difficulty. In fact, I remember Sangakkara saying that they would return to Sri Lanka when the authorities wanted them back. The players should not be blamed if the SL cricket authorities had not got their act together,

    It is the Minister of Sport who looked rather clumsy and not very smart at the time. According to newspaper reports, the Minister had issued almost an ultimatum to the SL cricketers playing in the IPL to get back by 5th May in order to be available for pre tour training ahead of the England tour. Now, the players were participating in the IPL with the full knowledge and blessings and agreement of the SL cricket authorities and indeed, in the terms of agreements between the relevant cricket outfits in SL and India. These players were not on anything like a ‘rebel tour’.

    Overseas cricket tour schedules are drawn up months in advance and at the time the SL players were ‘released’ to play for the IPL, the SL cricket authorities will have known (and certainly, ought to have known) when the IPL season would end and when the English tour was to begin. They should also have known, if they had any sense, that the players would be needed back in SL for pre tour training before the end of the IPL season. So, why were the players ‘released’ to play in the IPL without a requirement that they be back in time for pre tour training?

    As we know, in the end, the Minister did not have his way and had to ‘back down’ and to agree to a date negotiated with the Indian authorities. He could have spared himself a lot of embarrassment if he had done his homework.

    So, please let us not know blame Sanga or other players for the ineptitude of the administrators and the ‘powers that be’.

  11. Lanka Peiris Says:

    Seneviratne has got it wrong. Sanga has done the country proud with a very good speech depicting not only the good of Sri Lankans and their lovable characteristics but unfortunately the greed that is a growing cancer in the SLCB. He does not have to talk aqbout IPL as everyone knows they are corrupt. The worlds best cricketing talents are being utilised to train fresh young Indian cricketers! Of course using Indian money but this could be put to better use by helping clear the poor slum dwellers scavenging in India!
    The SLCB should have had restrictions in the first place on our players playing in the IPL. First the country then IPL for a few dollars more if time permits and not the other way around. Kumar is a great ambassordor for the game and an example for other young cricketers to follow.

  12. Fran Diaz Says:

    Sanga’s speech was good. What was not good was the criticism of the BoC in the venue of Britain’s Lord cricket grounds, at this point in time. He might have made the criticism less sharp so as not to damage the image of the country recovering from the war with the ltte. As it is, unfortunately, Sanga’s criticism of the BoC has just given a plus to the ltte rump lobby to make Sri Lanka appear as another Failed state.

    Juding by the UK news, we feel that Sanga has got caught to a news trap, as the focal point in Sanga’s speech became his criticism of the BoC – the rest of it has been dropped by the wayside.

    The ltte rump lobby wins again, at the cost of of one of our best cricketers. “Two birds with one stone” that is the ltte rump motto. Think, dear Sinhala people, before you leap into the Hall of Fame – “how will my actions affect Sri Lanka in the long term ?”

  13. Dham Says:

    ¨Sanga’s criticism of the BoC has just given a plus to the ltte rump lobby to make Sri Lanka appear as another Failed state.¨
    How did you come to that conclusion ?
    Most people in Sri Lanka are happy that Sanga did this.

    If bad thing happening it is the government duty to make it right. We cannot forever talk about LTTE and live in the past.
    Hope Gota is the president.

  14. Fran Diaz Says:

    Dham: the message most people get via the media, at this juncture, with the Ch-4 ltte version being shown in the Capitol, Washington DC, just yesterday, is that Sri Lanka is indeed guilty of War Crimes, and is thus a Failed state. There is a media blitz going on all over the western world with the Ch-4 video. Just a week or so ago, the very popular MPTV in USA aired part of the Ch-4 video with Amnesty Int. participation. The printed media report on the Ch-4 video too. The general view is that Sri Lanka may have failed to govern itself, i.e. a Failed state.
    The WAY PEOPLE VIEW NEWS is not how we in little Lanka see it. In the west, news is geared toward sensationalism, the horror of war is graphically shown to sway public opinion right now in favor of the ltte rump, and that Tamils are mistreated and Genocide done here. No news has made headlines in the west about the ltte killings & misdemeanors of 30 yrs.

    In an atmosphere like this, with vested interests intent on finding ways to divide the country to their own purposes, it is best that the Sinhala Nation be wary of comments abroad to VIPs. When abroad, I have always been confronted by foreigners about mistreatment of Tamils in Sri Lanka. That is the reality.

    We have to learn how to handle our own problems within Sri Lanka. We have expose the news to the people here, and find solutions. In a Democracy, it is the Public that must think & participate. We have to mature, grow up and take charge of governing this country with honesty & integrity. There is no other way.

  15. Fran Diaz Says:

    The Ch-4 film was shown yesterday at : Capitol Visitors’ Center, Congressional Auditorium and Atrium. The Capitol is the legislative Centre of USA, where the Congress meets.

    Our focus should be on the ltte rump activities & how to get rid of the lies in Ch-4 films. Cricket problems should be aired and solved in Sri Lanka, not in the west.

  16. Naram Says:

    It is rare to see a Cricketer making such awell crafted speech. Sanga reacalled the highs and lows of the standards in Sri Lanka in the period he saw as a schoolboy and as a Professional – that was smartly delivered. He showered bountiful praiseon an interim committee that took over at the turn of the century but sees todays standard, selection process to the Sri Lankan Cricket Board as an abysmal low.

    We onlookers too saw the standard of cricket, particularly from the senior players at the first test as pathetically below par.

    Not being oneving under the tectonic moves of theinternational game, I can only imagine pressures of being at the front of national team, commercial pressures of being a face that can move goods from hoardings, and then as the obedient servant of IPL; it must be must be immense.

    Did Sanga provide evidence of poor standards of coaching that led to the debacle on the fifth day of Cardiff test, lack of team spirit in the drassing room, what recriminations took place, what demands came from the administrators to spend more time to prepare for the test – we did not learn that.

    Inthe past I recall MCC sacked many players from the English side for accepting contracts to play in South Africa. Terry Packer’s experiment to make Cricket more commercial was also frowned on at the time by MCC.

    Today IPL seems to be winning the argument and I for one do not think Sri Lanka’s Cricket will make a long term gain from the maga bucks earned by few playersto emerge as a winner t the end of this affair- and that is the aspect our esteemed Sanga failed to mention.

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