Trouble Over Sangakkara’s Speech




Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara had become the first Sri Lankan to be giving an hour long speech for the Marylebone Cricket Club’s annual Spirit of Cricket lecture.

Trouble over Sangakkara’s speech

Trouble over Sangakkara’s speech

He spoke about the birth of Cricket in the island nation, laced with the stories from Sri Lanka’s war history. He brought into light the various traditional cricketing thoughts and how the players had matured over the years. He listed the Sri Lankan cricket idols and how they had changed the course of Sri Lankan cricket. He also mentioned about the 2004 Tsunami that crippled the island nation and neighboring places. He courageously recalls the fatal attack on the Sri Lankan team during the 2009 Lahore Test match.

Grabbing this opportunity, Sangakkara accused Sri Lankan cricket administrators of causing rift, ill-feeling and distrust in the side. He slammed the SLC for corrupt practices and hinted that he was forced to step down from captaincy. He had resigned after the World Cup defeat to India in the finals.

He mentioned that after Sri Lanka’s 1996 surprise World Cup victory, the cricket administration in the island had changed “from a volunteer-led organisation run by well-meaning men of integrity into a multimillion-dollar organisation that has been in turmoil ever since”. This win led to a change in direction at the top of the sport in the country, bringing a loss of direction, transparency and accountability.

It turns out that the entire national cricket board committee would have to step down as the country was left with a $69 million shortfall for hosting this year’s World Cup. This speaks of severe financial mismanagement, low accountability, credibility and transparency in administration.

But for all the boldness he showed in his speech, he has made some fierce enemies back home. He is likely to be called for an explanation by the country’s Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage over his Spirit of Cricket lecture delivered at Lord’s, where he launched an attack against his own country’s cricket board. Aluthgamage had called the newly elected interim committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to examine the remarks made by the former captain.

In a statement released, Mahindananda Aluthgamage has asked the head of Sri Lanka Cricket’s interim committee to submit his “observation” on Sangakkara’s speech.

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