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Kumar Sangakkara's 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture.
July 5, 2011 8:27 PM   Subscribe

"Kumar Sangakkara delivered an exceptional speech in his 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture, touching on the history, culture and opportunities for Sri Lankan cricket as well a moving recounting of the terrorist attack on their team bus in Pakistan." posted by chunking express (14 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love Sri Lanka enough that I can forgive them for adopting cricket.
posted by ecourbanist at 8:45 PM on July 5, 2011


On the other hand...maybe there's more to it than I know, if cricket led him to a place where he could make a speech this good blending history, culture and politics:

Parents travelling to work by bus would split up and travel separately so that if one of them died the other will return to tend to the family.
posted by ecourbanist at 8:54 PM on July 5, 2011


That is quite simply a fantastic speech. Thanks for posting this. His retelling of the terrorist attack on their bus in Pakistan almost had me in tears, until I reached this part: "Oh my God, you were out first ball, run out the next innings and now you have been shot. What a terrible first tour."

Did he write the speech himself?
posted by vidur at 8:58 PM on July 5, 2011


From the Guardian link: "Sangakkara is whip smart and knife sharp, his skills as a rhetorician having been honed in law school in Colombo, where he was an outstanding student."

So I guess he did write the speech for himself. Brilliant.
posted by vidur at 9:01 PM on July 5, 2011


Roebuck's comments on Sangakkara's speech. Wow, did not know that Ranatunga and Jayasuriya were MP's, or that there was an arrest warrant issued against Ranatunga.

But yes, a marvellous speech overall; extremely rare not just in that it put cricket in contrast with social reality, but also that it talked about cricket identities as well: loved his theme about a Sri Lankan "way" of playing cricket, and why its emergence ultimately endeared the game to the masses. That's the big common tale in all sporting histories isn't it, a people 'owning' a game by bringing something new to it.

On reflection, "owning" is an unsatisfactory anglicisation; The exact Sanskrit phrase I had in mind was to 'become laya', or 'to find musical harmony with'; it's often used in the context of cultures - in that, say, Thai culture became 'laya' with Ramayana, for instance - but, as Sangakarra demonstrated, it equally applies to sporting traditions.
posted by the cydonian at 11:54 PM on July 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sangakkara is awesome. For the last four years or so he's been involved with the ICC's Think Wise campaign to help tackle AIDS. These are duties he takes incredibly seriously, and not just showing up to the initial press conference and photocall. For example, during the World Twenty20 in South Africa he spent a lot of time during the tournament itself speaking at local schools.

Here's a pretty good recent article about his involvement. Warning: contains some cricket.
posted by Hartster at 1:16 AM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sangakkara has once again served Sri Lankan cricket with distinction. 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.
posted by doublehappy at 1:28 AM on July 6, 2011


I don't understand why some people who clearly know nothing about the game feel the need to make snotty remarks about cricket on the rare occasions it's mentioned on Metafilter. Luckily I'm far too well brought up to observe in turn that America's beloved Baseball is merely rounders in comparison - a game for 12 year old English girls. Anyway, Sangakkara is not only a sublime batsman but a very bright chap and it can only be hoped he plays a major role in Sri Lankan cricket administration when he finally retires from the game. It's not like there's a lack of things to sort out. In the last few weeks former captain Hashan Tillakaratne made accusations of long term match fixing, Sanath Jayasuriya returned from retirement for a completely pointless jolly on the current England tour much to the annoyance of the current squad and the board got sacked en masse for pretty murky reasons. True to form though the Sri Lankan authorities are much more likely to chastise Sangakkara for this brave speech than actually tackle any of the issues he raises. It's chastening for us England fans that the Sri Lankans can still thrash our woeful one day team with all this going on.
posted by joannemullen at 4:12 AM on July 6, 2011


And here we go - Minister orders probe into Sangakkara's comments
posted by Gyan at 4:23 AM on July 6, 2011


I watched that last one day where Dinesh Chandimal scored his 100, thanks in part to Mathews sitting on his hands when it was his turn to bat. You could see the team watching them bat getting annoyed at the pair. England didn't seem too impressed either. And then Chandimal got his 100 with a 6, and ended the game with another boundary. That will shut people up pretty fast.

This speech is pretty fantastic. It's a shame people are so scared of cricket.
posted by chunking express at 5:08 AM on July 6, 2011


A Sri Lankan friend was mentioning that the Daily News, which I understand to be the governmental mouthpiece, just hasn't reported on the speech _at all_. This not just distresses me, but concerns me greatly; are the governmental minders really so full of it that they think they can get away with not reporting on a popular news item in this day and age? It's ridiculous.
posted by the cydonian at 6:49 AM on July 6, 2011


joannemullen: I don't understand why some people who clearly know nothing about the game feel the need to make snotty remarks about cricket on the rare occasions it's mentioned on Metafilter.

I think it's a kneejerk reaction. Sort of like the tired American jokes about British food which are the equivalent of characterising all American food as being made of aerosol cheese and marshmallow fluff.

But yes, great speech. The sort of awareness of cricket's role and importance in a troubled society that I wish our benighted Pakistani players would display.

Pakistani cricket. sigh.
posted by tavegyl at 7:39 AM on July 6, 2011




Luckily I'm far too well brought up to observe in turn that America's beloved Baseball is merely rounders in comparison - a game for 12 year old English girls.

You are indeed.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:39 AM on July 6, 2011


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