Having been presented with his honorary life membership of Surrey CCC, Kumar Sangakkara took to the stage to deliver a rousing speech that will live long in the memory of all present on the evening. Here it is in full:
First of all, with the honorary life membership; I think someone has read my mind. About three days ago I was thinking about whether I should ask for the chance to be a fee paying member at Surrey. When I received honorary life membership at the MCC I thought nothing could top that because that was something that was on my list but this, from Surrey, has actually topped that so thank you very much.
It’s been kind of a unique journey for me, coming from international cricket to Surrey. I remember when Graham Ford asked me to come here. I was discussing this with Mahela Jayawardene and he said “county cricket once you’ve finished international cricket, are you mad?”
After I came here and spent these three seasons here, I think it is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I knew the heritage of the club, I knew the players that have come from the club. I knew Surrey as a venue but what I really found unique was all of you that make Surrey – the spectators, the players, the staff. We always look at clubs in an abstract way but whenever I meet someone from Surrey, be it a player, supporter or member of staff it brings home to me how much that all of you speak to the world about what Surrey is.
That’s been the greatest privilege that I’ve had as a cricketer to be accepted into the Surrey family and become a part of the Rey. I am so grateful for that opportunity. I’ve been an international cricketer for a very, very long time but these three years I’ve had in your company have been very special for me.
I’ve also found that when you’re getting closer to the end, your teammates become a lot more complimentary of you. The words I heard up there [on a video of players describing him] I have not heard a lot in the slip cordon!
To the players of Surrey, thank you so much. It has been great to be a part of your team and play at a ground that a lot of great cricketers have trod on before us and I think it puts our careers into perspective. We’re all torchbearers of a great legacy and I think everyone at Surrey must remember that. It is our responsibility to make sure that when you walk away, you have left that legacy that much more enhanced for having been a part of it.
I hope I’ve done my bit but I think the future is going to be glorious. Some of the most amazing cricketers that I have seen and met are sitting here tonight and I hope that all the fans will embrace them and keep them very close and dear to your hearts because they are going to make all of you very, very proud.
Thank you, my family thanks you and I will not be leaving. I will be back, not for a season, but to have the privilege once again of meeting all of you people and continuing to be a part of this wonderful family.
Thank you very much.
Sangakkara takes home five trophies
Kumar Sangakkara took home five trophies as Surrey reflected on their 2017 campaign at the club’s annual end of season awards. The great Sri Lankan, who will retire from first-class cricket at the end of the season, was honoured with the Members’ Player of the Year, Player of the Year, Sylvester Clarke Large Rum Moment, Kia Batsman of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year gongs.
Presented the awards by a number of the club’s hierarchy in front of a standing ovation from members in the Jardine Suite at the Kia Oval, Sangakkara celebrated a campaign that has seen him score eight first-class centuries so far. On top of that, the 39-year-old was presented with an honorary life membership presented by Surrey chairman Richard Thompson before delivering a rousing speech that left Surrey members reflecting on the three years the batsman has spent with the club.
THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS IS:
Members’ Player of the Year: Kumar Sangakkara
PG County Player of the Year: Sophie Pout
Kia Surrey Stars Player of the Year: Marizanne Kapp
Academy Player of the Year: Will Jacks
Kia Most Improved Player of the Year: Ryan Patel
Graham Kersey Team Man of the Year: Paul Steele
Surrey Supporters Club Most Improved Player: Ben Foakes
Surrey Supporters Club Young Player of the Year: Ollie Pope
Ann Millington-Jones Woman Player of the Year: Nat Sciver
Anne Bickerstaff 2nd XI Champagne Moment of the Season: Ryan Patel’s six to go to double hundred v Gloucestershire
Player of the Year: Kumar Sangakkara
Sylvester Clarke Large Rum Moment: The last of Kumar Sangakkara’s five consecutive centuries – a double hundred at Chelmsford
Kia Young Player of the Year: Ollie Pope
Kia Bowler of the Year: Tom Curran
Kia Batsman of the Year: Kumar Sangakkara
Players’ Player of the Year: Kumar Sangakkara
Courtesy of the Sunday Observer, 24 September 2017 ,,, http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2017/09/24/sports/kumar-sangakkara-delivers-rousing-speech-surrey-awards