Overwhelmed Terrorism by the Spirit of Cricket Speech by Kumar Sangakkara


Overwhelmed Terrorism by the Spirit of Cricket in the Speech Made by Kumar Sangakkara  


Sports build a balanced character. Sportsmen are strong not only physically but also mentally. It is clearly depicted in Kumar Sangakkara’s Colin Cowdery lecture which is delivered in year 2011 at Lord’s Cricket Stadium, England. The Colin Cowdrey lecture is delivered in the memory of late, great British cricketer Michael Colin Cowdrey. Sangakkara’s speech is considered as one of the best Cowdrey lectures delivered ever. Sangakkara is a reputed cricketer in the legend of Sri Lankan Cricket. In his speech Sangakkara criticizes the impact of politics upon Sri Lankan Cricket.

In the extract ‘The Lahore Attack’ Sangakkara reveals the most terrible experience of his life. When they toured in Pakistan for a Test Cricket series, they were targeted to a terrorist attack led by twelve gunmen. Kumara Sangakkara glanced at the fellow Sri Lankans in a sympathetic manner. He admires the courage of them who stood violence for nearly thirty years. They faced many hardships during the civil war which lasted three decades in Sri Lanka. He never expected that he too would have to face the same experience. Sangakkara describes all the incidents that they faced in Pakistan in an indifferent tone.

When they heard the gunshots, all the players dived under and the isles of the seats for the survival. They could not understand what they should do. Bullets started to burst in and only thing that they could do was staying still and praying for the life. As the sportsmen, their courage and the strength is seen very clearly in this incident. Sangakkara got a clear memory of all the incidents taken place there. Thilan Thushara was shot at the back of his thigh. Tharanga Paranavithana, who was the debutant of the team, got severe injuries in his chest. Sangakkara too shot at his shoulder.

“I felt something hit and my shoulder goes numb. But I was relieved as it did not hit my head…” These words of Sangakkara show the optimism found in him. This is a quality added to his life from the sports that he engaged in. Fortunately, the driver Khaleel was able to drive as fast as he could and bring them to the safety of the stadium. Hence, the Sri Lankan cricket team was rescued.

At the dressing room of the stadium there was a mixture of emotions. Everyone is happy as no life is lost as a result of the incident. They recovered soon and began to laugh and comfort the exhausted people as well. It shows the inner equilibrium of the players which is built up by their sportsmanship. As the unofficial ambassadors to their country, they were able to maintain the image of their nation in front of the international media. Not even a sign of anger against the Pakistan government for not providing them proper security is shown in their interviews. They were able to manage the situation as if professional media men. During the Colin Cowdrey lecture as well, Sangakkara maintained this gentle behaviour. He expresses the incident as if it was happened to someone else. Therefore, Sangakkara’s lecture is quite important to us as it built a better image of the country.

Sports help to build a strong character. Players are both mentally and physically strong. They are able to manage hardships in their lives much more than the ordinary men. Though this is the first time that the cricketers faced violence, they were able to manage the situation because of their sportsmanship and the team spirit. The terrorists were able to injure them. But they were unable to cow them. Hence, it is quite clear that even a terrorist could not bring down a sportsman.

This article was kindly borrowed from Dilshan's blog: https://sinhalenlit.blogspot.com with the permission of him. You can visit to read some creatively crafted posts related to G.C.E.(O/L) English Literature.   

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