* “Superb it’s like a film script” – SAROJ P… in London
* “A very thoughtful and brilliant lecture by arguably one of the best ambassadors of Sri Lanka. Congratulations Sanga” – LUKIE P… in Melbourne
* “It was brilliantly crafted and eloquently delivered. A speech of quality worthy of being delivered at the Oxford Union and of the caliber that would even be appreciated in the halls of the United Nations. A tour de force of the splendor of Sri Lanka that was inspiring, courageous and brought about cascading emotions. Island’s love affair with cricket was well illustrated and the trials and tribulations of the players and management was deftly handled. Perhaps understandably, the media chose to highlight those comments, without regard to the total context of your brilliant speech. Going forward, as you so rightly wished, I hope cricket indeed will play its part in the reconciliation of the myriad of interests and communities in Sri Lanka.” – Nandasiri J… in USA
* ‘Kumar Sangakkara proves his blade can be mighty as his words” — David Hopps in The Guardian, 6 July 2011.
* “Eight Lankans have scored hundreds at The Home of Cricket, but the greatest knock of them all was played off the pitch by Sangakkara when he delivered the annual Lecture. The handful of Lankans who were present at Lord’s on Monday, including former Board Chairman Vijaya Malalasekara, were almost in tears – the sheer brilliance of the speech proved so emotive” … Rex Clementine in the Island, 9 July 2011.* “Congratulations Sanga on your bold and forthright Spirit of Cricket address. You richly deserved the standing ovation and the flattering comments made by Master of Ceremonies Mark Nicholas when he said “Many congratulations. We are all struck by the immense pride you have in your land and of your people and we are humbled by the brilliance of your language and your use of it. We are struck by your messages. Archbishop Desmond Tutu received a standing ovation and you have matched it.”
You have really hit the nail on the head and exposed the deterioration, politicization, and the rot that set in after the glorious 1996 World Cup victory, a rot which reached its climax in the now dissolved interim committee. You rightly referred to its impact onSri Lankacricket and team players. You have quite rightly given credit to those whom credit is due, specially the late Gamini Dissanayake who took Sri Lanka to its heights free of any corruption or politics, Arjuna Ranatunga in his role as captain, and Muttiah Muralitharan both as a player and person.
Sanga, you will no doubt earn the wrath of the higher authorities who may take action against you and which may even terminate your glorious cricket career, but you can be assured that the whole cricket loving public is solidly with you on your bold comments and you will earn their plaudits. We hope that the frank comments made by Sanga will be seriously taken note of by the government and the cricket authorities if Sri Lankais to once again reach the glorious heights of 1996.” — Nimal Bhareti in Island, 7 July 2011
* “It is worth reading the full text and not the abridged and only 5% is on corruption and rest is on SL Unity and it is a non political speech with eloquence at its best and not loud mouthed empty promises which we have got accustomed to….. He has been down to earth is some topics including mentioning Mr D H de Silva who is now inMelbourne. I met Kumar in DH’s home and when I suggested that some of our team shud improve their English, he disagreed with me saying their national language is not English and it should not matter. I was astonished that he spoke in Sinhalese at the table. On another occasion when i spoke of showing off his eloquence in the interest of the country, he was lackadaisical. He was not after any political mileage and I am sure he is ready for repercussions. Even if he is hauled up to the 4th floor,the whole cricketing world will be more enlightened with the short comings unlike the norms in internal Sri Lanka. More strength to his fist and elbow too” —Ranjan R … in Sydney.
Web Editor’s Note: apart from the entries from David Hopps, Rex Clementine and Nimal Bhareti, the others were from email communications.
Note 2:contrary to one line of surmise about governmental counter-attacks on Sangakkara the Defence Secretary has responed thus to his speech: “Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday praised national cricketer Kumar Sangakkara for solidly backing the country’s successful war effort against the LTTE at a time a section of the international community is targeting the Sri Lankan military over accountability issues” (The Sunday Island, 10 July 2011).
2 responses to “Sangakkara draws an Array of Plaudits for his Cowdrey Lecture”
I am sure HE The President concurs with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s sentiments and is proud of Sanga’s statesman-like lecture delivered with such sincerity and equanimity at the hallowed grounds of cricket. Every Sri Lankan must be truly proud of him for what he has done for cricket and Sri Lanka, as well as the worldwide respect earned – not only for himself but for all Sri Lankans. I would equate his lecture to that delivered by another great Sri Lankan, the late Rt Hon Lakshman Kadirgamar, at the Oxford Union and I hope HE The President will silence the minority critics by creating a new position for him as Sri Lanka’s ‘Ambassador to the World’.
I have watched Sangakkara’s brilliant batting performance on one occasion while on a visit to Sri Lanka . What is more laudable is his attitude and effort to reach out to to the minority communities in Sri Lanka. Sangakarra was a popular figure in Jaffna as well. A true and one of the brilliant products of Sri Lanka . He is a ” gentleman and scholar”