Sanga counters political googly with a straight bat | Daily News


 

Sanga counters political googly with a straight bat

Cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara who retired from international cricket three years ago has been in the news for the wrong reasons.

The name of the former captain and iconic player has been doing the rounds especially in political circles that he is going to enter local politics.

Some have even spoken about Sangakkara becoming a candidate for the next Presidential elections in 2020.

Last week, Cabinet spokesman Minister Rajitha Senaratne told that they would support Sangakkara if he enters politics.

But Sangakkara who has put to the sword some of the greatest bowlers in the world during his illustrious career countered such offers as he had done as a cricketer – with a broad bat.

He is reported by the Cricket Age website to have denied all the rumours and gossip of entering politics putting an end to such speculations.

As a cricketer Sangakkara has gained many adulations and accolades and is a highly respected figure in international cricket circles and it would be a tragedy if he is to enter politics and tarnish the good name that he has earned over the years.

Politics they say is a dirty game and it is not a place for a gentleman cricketer like Sangakkara. One does not have to look all that far but listen to the debates that take place in parliament and the language used by some of the politicians to come to a conclusion to what drastic levels the quality of parliament standards have dropped.

Sangakkara will be better off serving the game at international level where he has a large following on social media as well as wherever he presents himself where he is adored and respected.

Sri Lanka should be honoured that he is part of the Sky cricket commentary team for England’s summer of cricket that featured Pakistan and Australia and currently India alongside such cricket luminaries as Sir Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton, David Gower, David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, Michael Holding, Ricky Ponting and Wasim Akram.

Sangakkara is held in high esteem for his moving and forthright speech on the machinations of how Sri Lanka’s cricket administration is run which he delivered at the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture 2011 at Lord’s after which he became the first man to get a standing ovation since Desmond Tutu in 2008. His criticism of how sport is run in the country were startling frank and brave. It is needless to say that he will be wasting this God given talent if he chooses to enter Parliament, which one hopes not.

The good name of a cricketer should not be tarnished for all the country’s ills. The politicians who are responsible for pushing the country to its current state of affairs should find ways and means to extricate it from the mess rather than try to deviate from the real problem at hand.

CRICKETER, POLITICIAN AND NOW PM?

On a different plateau we find another iconic cricketer who led his country to win the World Cup in 1992 and turned to politics after retiring from the game, is now a bat’s swing away from becoming his country’s Prime Minister.

Imran Khan was a born leader and like Sangakkara came from a respectable family. He received the education that many Pakistanis would have been envious of - being educated at Aitchison College, Lahore considered the Pakistani equivalent of Eton before being sent to England to study at the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, and then to Oxford to read philosophy, politics and economics. After he graduated he returned to Pakistan and later captained his country at cricket.

In 1996 the year Sri Lanka won the World Cup, Imran formed his own political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (Pakistan Movement for Justice) and since has remained a popular political figure. At the recently concluded Pakistan elections Imran’s PTI emerged as the single largest party in the National Assembly but still short of numbers to form the government on its own. Imran has stated that he is confident of forming the government with the help of other minority parties which would lead the way to him being named the country’s 19th Prime Minister.

Sri Lanka already has another World Cup winning captain in its midst in Parliament – Arjuna Ranatunga. Whether he will harbour any thoughts of one day following in Imran’s footsteps remains to be seen.


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