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Well played Sanga, but you still have miles to go - EDITORIAL

25 August 2015 06:30 pm - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you. If you can trust yourself when others doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too. If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same. If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss. If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds of a match well played. Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it, and what is more-- you‘ll be a Man, my son.

These immortal words from Rudyard Kipling’s famous ‘If ‘   were written in gold for the legendary cricketer Kumar Sangakkara at a glittering farewell ceremony on Monday.

In an unprecedented and astonishing move, President Maithripala Sirisena who presided at the grand and glorious farewell, told the beloved Sanga that on behalf of a grateful nation the President was delighted to offer him one of the top diplomatic posts, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Britain, the home and headquarters of cricket. Sanga told a news conference later he also was amazed by the offer but needed time to consider it.

Sanga, in a farewell speech telecast live to millions of people in cricket-playing countries, was unusually but understandably emotional. An important fact Sanga reiterated was that the foundation to mould him as one of Sri Lanka’s greatest figures took place in his home and his Alma Mater Trinity College, Kandy. This is an important lesson not only for cricketers and other sports people but for all--a good family and a good school produce good citizens who bring glory and honour to the country. Parents and teachers please note.

On the field the 37-year-old Kumar Chokshananda Sangakkara has recorded scores that go far and above the biggest score boards. In the old and yet greatest form of Test cricket though ODIs and 20-20 internationals are more popular, Sanga with a Test average of 57 plus ranks among the top 10 in world cricket history. In this great hall of fame  are Sir Donald Bradman 99.94, Graeme Pollock 60.97, George Headley 60.83, Herbert Sutcliffe 70.73, Eddie Paynter 59.23, Ken Barrington 58.67, Everton Weekes 58.61, Wally Hammond 58.45 and Sir Garfield Sobers 57.78. After Sanga are more legends like Jack Hobbs, Clyde Walcott, Sir Len Hutton and Jacques Kallis while India’s greatest scorer Sachin Tendulkar ranks at No. 20.  

Off the field Sanga’s good deeds soar even higher and farther than Sanga’s hundreds of sixes and brilliant cover-driven boundaries. Though he does not wish to let his right hand know what his left hand is doing, Sanga, along with the world’s highest wicket taker  Muttiah Muralitharan and others, became the pioneers of the Foundation for Goodness which is helping hundreds of thousands of poor people mainly in rural areas. Even during the current Test series,   an India-based company donated 10,000 US dollars for the work of this foundation for justice.

Among the key objectives  of the foundation are to ensure that adequate shelter is available to all, give every family access to sanitation, electricity, and clean water, affordable healthcare and education, livelihood and job training with a working knowledge of English and modern communication technology.

Thank you Sanga, but it’s not good bye, the Sri Lanka’s highest scorer has now been offered the post of Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in the cradle of cricket. Retirement or a warm home on a winter’s night may be lovely and deep. But, as the poet says, you have more promises to keep and miles to go before you sleep.   
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  • Das Wednesday, 26 August 2015 06:03 PM

    Sanga should not become an untrained diplomat and ruin his image in peoples minds.He must instead strive for justice and fairplay just as he did in cricket, for all lankans.


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