Kumar Sangakkara’s MCC Spirit of Cricket Lecture

Kumar Sangakkara’s attack on the Sri Lankan cricket board during his MCC Spirit of Cricket Lecture at Lord’s on Monday seems to have ruffled some feathers back home.

Sports Minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, claimed that Sangakkara needed to get permission to speak about the sports administration, permission which he clearly would never had got, had he sought it.

Sangakkara has always struck me as an intelligent and articulate man, an impression only further underlined when listening to the bits of his speech played on TMS on Wednesday.

In my opinion, the question the Sports Minister should be asking himself is, what drove this intelligent, level headed man to potentially jeopardize his career by making such a controversial speech? Rather than moaning about the fact he has spoke out at all.

Sangakkara wouldn’t have just said this to stoke up trouble. He has clearly seen a problem within Sri Lankan cricket, and as he cares so deeply about the game and his country he has taken the decision to speak out about it.

Another question the Minister should be asking himself is, what drove this man to quit the captaincy?

It will be interesting to see how the “partisan cronies” (as Sangakkara described them) deal with him when the team returns from the tour of England.

In a way Sangakkara is in a position of strength, he can’t be dropped for cricketing reasons, so to drop him for this would probably lead to a stand off between the players and the administration.

Such is the obvious need for reform within cricket, even an organization as slow at acting as ICC are, have taken a stand against Government interference with member boards – ICC have given all members two years to act independent of political interference.

The fact that the Sri Lankan administrators are slower at acting than ICC is, should give them a good indication as to why Sangakkara felt the need to say what he did.
I suspect that the Sri Lankan administrators already know this, that’s why the question I’m asking myself is, do they really want to change anyway?

Sangakkara’s speech can be heard here.