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Kumar Sangakkara’s Cowdrey Lecture: “The Spirit of Sri Lanka’s Cricket” (Part 6 of 7)


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Kumar Sangakkara delivering the Cowdrey Lecture  at Lord’s at the invitation of the MCC on July 4, 2011. - 2
Kumar Sangakkara delivering the Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s at the invitation of the MCC on July 4, 2011. – 2

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On July 4, 2011, at the invitation of the MCC, Kumar Sangakkara, the former Captain of the Sri Lankan Cricket Team, delivered the Cowdrey Lecture  at Lord’s  titled “The Spirit of Sri Lanka’s Cricket – A Celebration of Our Uniqueness”.

This video is part 6 of Kumar Sangakkara’s hour-long speech. It is accompanied by its transcript.

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Transcript of  Kumar Sangakkara’s speech
In Lahore, Pakistan after the terrorist attack

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The injured Sri Lanka cricketers (from left) Ajantha Mendis, Tharanga Paranavitana, Thilan Samaraweera, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara and assistant coach Paul Farbrace (Source: Getty Images/dailymail.co.uk)
The injured Sri Lanka cricketers (from left) Ajantha Mendis, Tharanga Paranavitana, Thilan Samaraweera, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara and assistant coach Paul Farbrace (Source: Getty Images/dailymail.co.uk)

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Tilan is helped off the bus. In the dressing room, there is a mixture of emotions: anger, relief, joy.

Pakistan hospital staff carry Sri Lankan cricket player Tharanga Paranavitana (Source: abc.net.au)
Pakistan hospital staff carry Sri Lankan cricket player Tharanga Paranavitana (Source: abc.net.au)

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Players and coaching staff are being examined by paramedics. Tilan and Paranavithana are taken by ambulance to the hospital.

We all sit in the dressing room and talk. Talk about what happened. Within minutes, there is laughter and the jokes have started to flow. We have for the first time been a target of violence, and we had survived.

We all realized that what some of our fellow Sri Lankans, we all realized that what some of our fellow Sri Lankans experienced every day for nearly 30 years had just happened to us. There was a new respect and awe for their courage and selflessness. It is notable how quickly we got over that attack on us. Although we were physically injured, mentally we held strong.

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Sri Lankan cricket team officials and players prepare to board a helicopter at the Gaddafi stadium (Source: in.reuters.co
Sri Lankan cricket team officials and players prepare to board a helicopter at the Gaddafi stadium (Source: in.reuters.co

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A few hours after the attack we were airlifted to the Lahore Air Force Base.

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Ajantha Mendis, his head swathed in bandages after multiple shrapnel wounds, (Source - indusladies.com)
Ajantha Mendis, his head swathed in bandages after multiple shrapnel wounds, (Source – indusladies.com)

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Ajantha Mendis, his head swathed in bandages after multiple shrapnel wounds, suggests a game of Poker. Tilan has been brought back, sedated but fully conscious, to be with us and we make jokes at him and he smiles back.

We were shot, grenades were thrown at us, we were injured and yet we were not cowed. We were not down and out. “We are Sri Lankan,” we thought to ourselves, “and we are tough and we will get through hardship and we will overcome because our spirit is strong.”

This is what the world saw in our interviews immediately after the attack: we were calm, we were collected, and rational. Our emotions held true to our role as unofficial ambassadors.

Tears greet the Sri Lankan team on return to Paradise
Back in Paradise. Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara hugs his wife Yehali and Tillakaratne Dilshan holds his son upon their return to Colombo on March 4. (Source: cricbuzz.com)
Back in Paradise. Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara hugs his wife Yehali and Tillakaratne Dilshan holds his son upon their return to Colombo on March 4. (Source: cricbuzz.com)

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A week after our arrival in Colombo from Pakistan I was driving in Colombo and I was stopped at a checkpoint. A soldier politely inquired as to my health after the attack. I said I was fine and added that what they as soldiers experience every day we experienced only for a few minutes, but still managed to grab all the headlines. He looked me in the eye and he said: “It is OK if I die, because it is my job and I am ready for it. But you, are a hero and if you were to die it would be a great loss for our country.”

I was taken aback. How can this man value his life less than mine? His sincerity was overwhelming. I felt humbled. This is the passion that cricket and cricketers evoke in Sri Lankans. This is the love that I strive every day of my career to be worthy of.

Post 1996 Power Politics in Sri Lankan cricket

Coming back to our cricket, the World Cup also brought less welcome changes with the start of detrimental cricket board politics and the transformation of our cricket administration from a volunteer-led organisation run by well-meaning men of integrity into a multi-million dollar organisation that has been in turmoil ever since.

In Sri Lanka, cricket and politics have been synonymous. The efforts of Honorable Gamini Dissanayake were instrumental in getting Sri Lanka Test Status. He also was instrumental in building the Asgiriya International cricket stadium.

In the infancy of our cricket, it was impossible to sustain the game without state patronage and funding.

When Australia and West Indies refused to come to our country for the World Cup it was through government channels that the combined World Friendship XI came and played in Colombo to show the world that it was safe to play cricket there.

The importance of cricket to our society also meant that at all times it enjoys benevolent state patronage.

For Sri Lanka to be able to select a national team it must have the membership of the Sports Ministry. No team can be fielded without the final approval of the Sports Minister. It is indeed a unique system where the board-appointed selectors at any time can be overruled and asked to reselect a side already chosen.

The Sports Minister can also exercise his unique powers to dissolve the cricket board if investigations reveal corruption or financial irregularity. With the victory in 1996 came power and money to the board and players. Players from within the team itself became involved in power games. Officials elected to power in this way in turn manipulated player loyalty to achieve their own ends. At times, board politics would spill over into the team causing a rift, ill feeling and distrust. The only shining example to the contrary I can remember was the interim committee headed by Vijaya Malalasekara who is sitting here today in the audience.

Accountability and transparency in administration and credibility of conduct were lost in a mad power struggle that would leave Sri Lankan cricket with no consistent and clear administration. Presidents and elected executive committees would come and go; government-picked interim committees would be appointed and dissolved.

After 1996, the cricket board has been controlled and administered by a handful of well-meaning individuals either personally or by proxy rotated in and out depending on appointment or election. Unfortunately to consolidate and perpetuate their power they opened the door of the administration to partisan cronies that would lead to corruption and wanton waste of cricket board finances and resources.

It was and still is confusing. Accusations of vote buying and rigging, player interference due to lobbying from each side and even violence at the AGMs, including the brandishing of weapons and ugly fist fights, have characterized cricket board elections for as long as I can remember.

The team lost the buffer between itself and the cricket administration. Players had become used to approaching members in power directly trading favours for mutual benefits. And by 1999 all these changes in administration and player attitudes had transformed what was a close-knit unit in 1996 into a collection of individuals with no shared vision or sense of team. The World Cup that followed in England in 1999 was a debacle – a first round exit.

Fortunately, though, this proved to be the catalyst for further change within the dynamics of the Sri Lankan team. A new mix of players and a nice blend of youth and experience provided the context in which the old hierarchical system and structure within the team were dismantled in the decade that followed under the more consensual leadership of Sanath, Marvan and Mahela, the team continued to grow. In the new team culture forged since 1999, individuals were accepted. The only thing that matters is commitment and discipline to the team. Individuality and internal debate are welcome. Respect is not demanded but earned. There was a new commitment towards keeping the team safe from board turmoil. It has been difficult to fully exclude it from our team because there are constant efforts to drag us back in and in times of weakness and doubt players have crossed the line. Still we have managed to protect and motivate our collective efforts towards one goal: winning on the field.

Let us aspire to better administration. The administrators need to adopt the same values enshrined by the team over the years: integrity, transparency, commitment and discipline. Unless the administration is capable of becoming more professional, forward-thinking and transparent, then we risk alienating the common man. Indeed, this is already happening. Loyal fans are becoming increasingly disillusioned. This is very dangerous thing because it is not the administrators or players that sustain the game, it is the cricket-loving public. It is their passion that powers cricket, and if they turn their backs on cricket then the whole system will come crashing down.

The solution to this may be the ICC taking a stand to suspend member boards with any direct detrimental political interference and allegations of corruption and mismanagement. This will negate the ability of those boards to field representative teams or receive funding and other accompanying benefits from the ICC..

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Kumar Sangakkara’s Cowdrey Lecture: “The Spirit of Sri Lanka’s Cricket” (Part 5 of 7)


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Kumar Sangakkara delivering the Cowdrey Lecture  at Lord’s at the invitation of the MCC on July 4, 2011. - 2
Kumar Sangakkara delivering the Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s at the invitation of the MCC on July 4, 2011. – 2

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On July 4, 2011, at the invitation of the MCC, Kumar Sangakkara, the former Captain of the Sri Lankan Cricket Team, delivered the Cowdrey Lecture  at Lord’s  titled “The Spirit of Sri Lanka’s Cricket – A Celebration of Our Uniqueness”.

This video is part 5 of Kumar Sangakkara’s hour-long speech. It is accompanied by its transcript.

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Transcript of  Kumar Sangakkara’s speech
The Tsunami of December 26, 2004 (continued)

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Tsunami in Sri Lanka

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We called home to check. “Is it true?” we asked. “How can the pictures be real?” we thought.

All we wanted to do was to go back home to be with our families and stand together with the people. I remember landing at the airport on 31st December, a night when the whole of Colombo is normally lit up for the festivities, a time of music, laughter, and revelry. But the town was empty and dark, the mood depressed and silent with sorrow. While we were thinking how we could help. Murali was quick to provide the inspiration.

Muttiah Muralitharan takes centre stage among the refugees in a camp in Kinniya, Sri Lanka, during the Sri Lankan cricket team's delivery of much-needed food supplies. (Photo: Jason South)
Muttiah Muralitharan takes centre stage among the refugees in a camp in Kinniya, Sri Lanka, during the Sri Lankan cricket team’s delivery of much-needed food supplies. (Photo: Jason South)

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Murali is a guy who has been pulled from all sides during his career, but he’s always stood only alongside his teammates and countrymen. Without any hesitation, he was on the phone to his contacts both local and foreign, and in a matter of days along with the World Food Program he had organized container loads of basic necessities of food, water and clothing to be distributed to the affected areas and people.

Amazingly, refusing to delegate the responsibility of distribution to the concerned authorities, he took it upon himself to accompany the convoys. It was my good fortune to be invited to join him.

The Sri Lankan Cricketers’ respond to the Tsunami of 26 December 2004 (Source: thuppahi.wordpress.com)
The Sri Lankan Cricketers’ respond to the Tsunami of 26 December 2004 (Source: thuppahi.wordpress.com)

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My wife and I along with Mahela, Ruchira Perera, our Physio CJ Clark and many other volunteers drove alongside the aid convoys towards an experience that changed me as a person.

We based ourselves in Polonnaruwa, just north of Dambulla, driving daily to visit tsunami-ravaged coastal towns like Trincomalee and Batticaloa, as well as southern towns like Galle and Hambantota on later visits.

We visited shelter camps run by the Army and the LTTE and even some administered in partnership between them. Two bitter warring factions brought together to help people in a time of need.

In each camp, we saw the effects of the tragedy written upon the faces of the young and old. Vacant and empty eyes filled with sorrow and longing for home, loved ones and for livelihoods lost to the terrible waves.

Yet for us, their cricketers, they managed a smile. In the Kinniya Camp just south of Trincomalee, the first response of the people who had lost so much was to ask us if our families were okay. They had heard that Sanath and Upul Chandana’s mothers were injured and they inquired about their health. They did not exaggerate their own plight nor did they wallow in it. Their concern was equal for all those around them.

This was true in all the camps we visited. Through their devastation shone the Sri Lankan spirit of indomitable resilience, compassion, generosity and hospitality and gentleness. This is the same spirit in which we play our cricket. In this, our darkest hour, the country stood together in support and love for each other, united and strong. I experienced all this and vowed to myself that never would I be tempted to abuse the privilege that these very people had afforded me. The honour and responsibility of representing them on the field, playing a game they loved and adored.

The role the cricketers played in their personal capacities for post-tsunami relief and rebuilding was worthy of the trust the people of a nation had in them. Murali again stands out. His Seenigama project with his manager Kushil Gunasekera, which I know the MCC has supported and still does with ongoing funding of over thirty thousand pounds a year, and which included the rebuilding of over one thousand homes, was amazing.

The terrorist attack in Lahore, Pakistan on  March 3, 2009

I was fortunate that during my life I never experienced violence in Sri Lanka first hand. There have been so many bomb explosions over the years, but I was never in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In Colombo, apart from these occasional bombs, life was relatively normal. People had the luxury of being physically detached from the war. Children went to school, people went to work, and I played my cricket.

In other parts of the country, though, people were putting their lives in harm’s way every day either in the defense of their motherland or just trying to survive the geographical circumstances that made them inhabit a war zone.

For them, avoiding bullets, shells, mines and grenades, was imperative for survival. This was an experience that I could not relate to. I had great sympathy and compassion for them, but had no real experience from which I could draw parallels. That was until we toured Pakistan in 2009. We set-off to play two Tests in Karachi and Lahore. The first Test played on a featherbed passed without great incident. The second Test was also meandering along with us piling up a big first innings when we departed for the ground on day three.

Having been asked to leave early instead of waiting for the Pakistan bus, we were anticipating a hard day of toil for the bowlers.

At the back of the bus, the fast bowlers were loud in their complaints. I remember Thilan Thushara being particularly vocal, complaining that his back was near breaking point. And he joked and I kid you not, that he wished a bomb would go off so we could all leave Lahore and go back home. Not thirty seconds had passed when we heard what sounded like firecrackers going off. Suddenly a shout came from the front: “Get down, they are shooting at the bus.

The reaction was immediate. Everyone dived for cover and took shelter on the aisle or behind the seats. With very little space, we were all lying on top of each other. Then the bullets started to hit. It was like rain on a tin roof. The bus was at a standstill, an easy target for the gunmen.

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Bullet holes in the windscreen of the Sri Lankan team coach (Photo: K.M. Chaudary/AP)
Bullet holes in the windscreen of the Sri Lankan team coach (Photo: K.M. Chaudary/AP)

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As bullets started bursting through the bus, all we could do was stay still, stay quiet, hoping and praying to avoid death or injury. Suddenly Mahela, who sits at the back of the bus, shouts saying he thinks he has been hit in the shin. I am lying next to Tilan. He groans in pain as a bullet hits him in the back of his thigh.

As I turn my head to look at him. I feel something whizz past my ear and a bullet thuds into the side of the seat, the exact spot where my head had was a second ago. I feel something hit my shoulder and it goes numb.

I know I had been hit, but I was just relieved and praying I was not going to be hit in the head.

Tharanga Paranvithana, on his debut tour, is also next to me. He stands up, bullets flying all around him, shouting, “I just got hit, ” as he holds his blood-soaked chest. He collapsed onto his seat, apparently unconscious.

Now this is a deadly tour and I see him and I am thinking: “Oh my God, you were out first ball, run out in the next innings and now you have been shot. What a  terrible  terrible first tour.

It is strange how clear your thinking is. I did not see my life flash by. There was no insane panic. There was absolute clarity and awareness of what was happening at that moment.

I heard the bus roar into life and start to move. Dilshan screaming at the driver: “Drive, drive“. We speed up, swerve and finally we were inside the safety of the stadium. There is a rush to get off the bus.

Tharanga Paranawithana stands up. He feels his back, feels his back and says, “Oh, there’s no hole there. I think I am ok.”

He is still bleeding. He has a bullet lodged lightly in his sternum, the body of the bus tempering its velocity, enough to be stopped by the bone..

The bodies of three Pakistani police officers lie on the road (Source: theguardian.com)
The bodies of three Pakistani police officers lie on the road (Source: theguardian.com)

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Kumar Sangakkara’s Cowdrey Lecture: “The Spirit of Sri Lanka’s Cricket” (Part 4 of 7)


Myself

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Kumar Sangakkara delivering the Cowdrey Lecture  at Lord’s at the invitation of the MCC on July 4, 2011.
Kumar Sangakkara delivering the Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s at the invitation of the MCC on July 4, 2011.

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On July 4, 2011, at the invitation of the MCC, Kumar Sangakkara, the former Captain of the Sri Lankan Cricket Team, delivered the Cowdrey Lecture  at Lord’s  titled “The Spirit of Sri Lanka’s Cricket – A Celebration of Our Uniqueness”.

This video is part 4 of Kumar Sangakkara’s hour-long speech. It is accompanied by its transcript.

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Transcript of  Kumar Sangakkara’s speech

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Allan Border (Source: waytofamous.com)
Allan Border (Source: waytofamous.com)

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A story that I heard in the 1990s, Allan Border having faced him [Muthiah Muralitharan] walked back to the Australian dressing room and said, “He is a leg spinner, but he also bowls a lot of googly.”

Arjuna’s team was now in place and it was an impressive pool of talent, but they were not yet a team. Although winning the 1996 World Cup was a long-term goal, they needed to find a rallying point, a uniting factor that gave them a sense of a “team“, a cause to fight for, an event that not will not only bind the team together giving them a common focus but also rally the entire support of a nation for the team and its journey.

This came on Boxing Day at the MCG in 1995. Few realised it at the time, but the no balling of Murali for alleged chucking had far-reaching consequences. The issue raised the ire of the entire nation. Murali was no longer alone. His pain, embarrassment and anger were shared by all. No matter what critics say, the manner in which Arjuna and team stood behind Murali made an entire Sri Lankan nation proud. At that moment, Sri Lanka adopted the cricketers simply as “Ape Kollo” which means “our boys”.

Gone was the earlier detachment of the Sri Lankan cricket fan and in its place was a new found love for those 15 men. They became our sons, our brothers. Sri Lankans stood with them and shared their trials and tribulations.

The decision to no ball Murali in Melbourne was for all Sri Lankans, an insult that would not be allowed to pass unavenged. It was the catalyst that spurred the Sri Lankan team on, to do the unthinkable, become World Champions just 14 years after obtaining full ICC status. It is also important to mention here that prior to 1981 more than 80% of the national players came from elite English schools, but by 1996 the same schools did not contribute a single player to the 1996 World Cup squad.

The Unifying Impact of the 1996 World Cup

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Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga lifts the trophy in 1996 (Source: news.bbc.co.uk)
Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga lifts the trophy in 1996 (Source: news.bbc.co.uk)

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The impact of that World Cup victory was enormous, both broadening the game’s grassroots as well as connecting all Sri Lankans with one shared passion. For the first time, children from outstations and government schools were allowed to make cricket their own.

Cricket was opened up to the masses this unlocked the door for untapped talent to not only gain exposure but have a realistic chance of playing the game at the highest level.

These new grass root cricketers brought with them the attributes of normal Sri Lankans, playing the game with a passion, joy and intensity that had been hitherto missing. They had watched Sanath, Kalu, Murali and Aravinda play a brand of cricket that not only changed the concept of one day cricket but was also instantly identifiable as being truly Sri Lankan.

We were no longer timid or soft or minnows. We had played and beaten the best in the world. We had done that without pretence or shame in a manner that highlighted and celebrated our national values, our collective cultures and our habits. It was a brand of cricket we were proud to call our own, a style with local spirit and flair embodying all that was good in our heritage.

The World Cup win gave us a new strength to understand our place in our society as cricketers. In the World Cup, our country found a new beginning; a new inspiration upon which to build their dreams of a better future for Sri Lanka. Here were 15 individuals from different backgrounds, races, and religions, each fiercely proud of his own individuality and yet they united not just a team but as a family.

Fighting for a common national cause representing the entirety of our society, providing a shining example to every Sri Lankan showing them with obvious clarity what it was to be truly Sri Lankan.

The 1996 World Cup gave all Sri Lankans a commonality, one point of collective joy and ambition that gave a divided society true national identity and was to be the panacea that healed all social evils and would stand the country in good stead through terrible natural disasters and a tragic civil war.

The 1996 World Cup win inspired people to look at their country differently. The sport overwhelmed terrorism and political strife.

It provided something that everyone held dear to their hearts and helped normal people get through their lives.

The team also became a microcosm of how Sri Lankan society should be with players from different backgrounds, ethnicities and religions sharing their common joy, their passion and love for each other and their motherland.

Regardless of war, here we were playing together. The Sri Lanka team became a harmonising factor.

The Economic Impact of being World Champions

After the historic win, the entire game of cricket in Sri Lanka was revolutionized. Television money started to pour into the cricket board’s coffers. Large national and multinational corporations fought for sponsorship rights.

Cricketers started to earn real money both in the form of national contracts and endorsement deals. For the first time, cricketers were on billboards and television advertising products, advertising anything from sausages to cellular networks.

Cricket became a viable profession and cricketers were both icons and role models. Personally, the win was very important for me.

Until that time, I was playing cricket with no real passion or ambition. I never thought or dreamed of playing for my country. This changed when I watched Sri Lanka play Kenya at Asgiriya. It was my final year in school and the first seed of my vision to play for my country was planted in my brain and heart when I witnessed Sanath, Gurasinghe, and Aravinda produce a devastating display of batting. That seed of ambition spurred into life when a couple of weeks later I watched that glorious final in Lahore. Everyone in Sri Lanka remembers where they were during that night of the final. The cheering of a nation was a sound no bomb or exploding shell could drown. Cricket became an integral and all-important aspect of our national psyche.

Our cricket embodied everything in our lives, our laughter and tears, our hospitality, our generosity, our music, our food and drink. It was normality and hope and inspiration in a war-ravaged island. In it was our culture and heritage, enriched by our myriad ethnicities and religions. In it we were untouched, at least for a while, by petty politics and division. It is indeed a pity that life is not cricket. If it were, we would not have seen the festering wounds of an ignorant war.

The Tsunami of December 26, 2004

The emergence of cricket and the new role of cricket within Sri Lankan society also meant that cricketers had bigger responsibilities than merely playing on the field. We needed to live positive lifestyles off the field and we needed to give back.

The same people that applaud us every game need us to contribute positively back to their lives. We needed to inspire mostly now off the field.

The Tsunami was one such event. The death and destruction left in its wake was a blow our country could not afford. We were in New Zealand playing our first ODI. We had played badly like … and were sitting disappointed in the dressing room when, as usual,

Sanath’s phone started beeping. He read the SMS and told us a strange thing had just happened back home where “waves from the sea had flooded some areas“. Initially we were not too worried, assuming that it must have been a freak tide. It was only when we were back in the hotel watching the news coverage that we realized the magnitude of the devastation.

It was horrifying to watch footage of the waves sweeping through coastal towns and washing away in the blink of an eye the lives of thousands. We could not believe that it happened.

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And the band played Waltzing Matilda


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Judith Baxter

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By Judith Baxter

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Remember Anzac

April 25th is a solemn day of remembrance here in NZ and in Australia.  It marks the sacrifices made by members of ANZAC (the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps)  when they joined  to fight alongside Britain in the first World War.

ANZAC day Dawn Service, State war memorial, Kings Park Western Australia (2009) - Photograph by Gnangarra...commons.wikimedia.org
ANZAC day Dawn Service, State war memorial, Kings Park Western Australia (2009). (Photograph by Gnangarra…commons.wikimedia.org)

Young men flocked to join up having no earthly idea of what they were getting themselves into, but filled with a fervour “For King and Country.”

Photograph of painting: "Anzac, the landing 1915 by George Lambert (1873-1930), 1920–22. The painting depicts the Australian soldiers of the covering force (3rd Infantry Brigade) climbing the seaward slope of Plugge's Plateau which overlooks the northern end of  Anzac Cove. The view is to the north, towards the main range. The yellow pinnacle is "The Sphinx" and beyond is Walker's Ridge which leads to Russell's Top. The white bag that each soldier is carrying contains two days of rations which were issued specially for the landing.
Photograph of painting: “Anzac, the landing 1915 by George Lambert (1873-1930), 1920–22. The painting depicts the Australian soldiers of the covering force (3rd Infantry Brigade) climbing the seaward slope of Plugge’s Plateau which overlooks the northern end of Anzac Cove. The view is to the north, towards the main range. The yellow pinnacle is “The Sphinx” and beyond is Walker’s Ridge which leads to Russell’s Top. The white bag that each soldier is carrying contains two days of rations which were issued specially for the landing.

The first deployment of the ANZACS  was at the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli.  The information the command  received about the terrain and an under estimation of the Turkish forces led to a disaster.  Nine months later the Allies withdrew leaving behind 46,000 dead.

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them.”
From Ode of Remembrance, taken from Laurence Binyon’s
For the Fallen” first published in 1914.

This day is also commemorated in Turkey at Gallipoli where the cove has been renamed ANZAC Cove.  Many ex-servicemen and their families travel to Turkey each year.

And Waltzing Matilda?  This was the song played as the troops sailed out from Sydney, Australia at the start of that fateful enterprise.  Click here to hear John Williams singing “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”.

I have written in more detail on this day both in 2011 and 2012.  It is a sad commentary on the people of the world that even after this “War to End All Wars” we still send our young men and women out to be slaughtered by ‘the enemy’.

Last post being sounded at North Beach, Gallipoli. Photo Mike Bowers, Sydney Morning Herald
Last post being sounded at North Beach, Gallipoli. (Photo Mike Bowers, Sydney Morning Herald)

And now there are no more survivors from Gallipoli.
RIP all the fallen and

Alec Campbell
Last Gallipoli survivor from Australia
(died May 2002 aged 103)

Alfred Douglas Dibley
Last Gallipoli survivor from New Zealand
(died 18 December 1997 aged 101)

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Re-posted from I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

The “Ring of Fire”


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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Ring of fire

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About 90% of the world’s earthquakes and 81% of the largest earthquakes occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean in a 40,000 kilometres (25,000 miles) horseshoe shape known as the Pacific Ring of Fire. This arc also known as “Ring of Fire” or as the circum-Pacific belt or the circum-Pacific seismic belt with a continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. stretches from New Zealand, along the eastern edge of Asia, north across the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, and south along the coast of North and South America has 452 volcanoes, and over 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes.

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“You’ve Got Mail” by Judith Baxter


Being an Indian now I wonder when the Republic of India would be given such a notice of revocation of her independence. – T.V. Antony Raj
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Judith Baxter

By Judith Baxter

Posted on July 9, 2012 in I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

Queen Elizabeth

Here is today’s email..

To            The Citizens of the United States of America
From       Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,
Subject   Greetings.

In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.  A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

  1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’  Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters,  and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’  Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up ‘vocabulary’
  2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ‘like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of  ‘-ize.’
  3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
  4.  You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.
  5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
  6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
  7.  The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
  8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
  9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of  known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. New Zealand beer is also acceptable, as New Zealand is pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
  10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys.  Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
  11. You will cease playing American football. There are only two kinds of proper football; one you call soccer, and rugby (dominated by the New Zealanders). Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
  12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians (World dominators) first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
  13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
  14.  An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
  15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.
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ICC T20 World Cup 2012: Super Eight Stage Points Table as on October 2, 2012.


ICC T20 World Cup 2012 Points Table and Team Standings for Super Eight stage as on October 2, 2012:

Super Eight Group 1

TEAM M W L P

NRR

Sri Lanka (E1) 3 3 0 6

+0.998

West Indies (E2) 3 2 1 4

-0.375

England 3 1 2 2

-0.397

New Zealand 3 0 3 0

-0.169

.

Super Eight Group 2

TEAM M W L P

NRR

Australia (F1) 3 2 1 4

+0.464

Pakistan (F2) 3 2 1 4

+0.273

India 3 2 1 4

-0.274

South Africa 3 0 3 0

-0.421

Next stage:

SEMI-FINALS

4 OCTOBER, 2012
19:00 local | 13:30 GMT

SRI LANKA  vs PAKISTAN

R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

5 OCTOBER, 2012
19:00 local | 13:30 GMT

AUSTRALIA  vs WEST INDIES

R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

FINAL

7 OCTOBER, 2012
19:00 local | 13:30 GMT

SF1 WINNERS vs SF2 WINNERS

R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

.

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ICC T20 World Cup 2012: Super Eight Stage Points Table as on October 1, 2012.


ICC T20 World Cup 2012 Points Table and Team Standings for Super Eight stage as on October 1, 2012:

Group 1

Teams Matches Won Lost Points
Sri Lanka 3 3 0 6
West Indies  3 2 1 4
England 3 1 2 2
New Zealand 3 0 3 0

Sri Lanka and West Indies have entered the semi-finals.

Group 2

Teams Matches Won Lost Points
Australia 2 2 0 4
Pakistan 2 1 1 2
India  2 1 1 2
South Africa 2 0 2 0

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ICC T20 World Cup 2012 Cricket Tournament Super 8 Matches Schedule


 

ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup 2012 Super 8 Groups and Teams have been finalized with 2 groups having 4 teams in each group.

Starting from September 27th, teams in the Super Eight stage will fight for a place in the top 4 that would play semi finals.

Date and Time

Match

Thu Sep 27
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT | 03:00 PDT
13th Match, Super 8, Group 1
Sri Lanka v New Zealand
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Thu Sep 27
14:00 GMT | 19:30 local
10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT |
07:00 PDT
14th Match, Super 8, Group 1  England Vs West Indies
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Fri Sep 28
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT |
03:00 PDT
15th Match, Super 8, Group 2
Pakistan Vs South Africa
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Fri Sep 2814:00 GMT | 19:30 local10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT | 07:00 PDT 16th Match, Super 8, Group 2 Australia Vs India
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sat Sep 29
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT |
03:00 PDT
17th Match, Super 8, Group 1
England Vs New Zealand
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Sat Sep 29
14:00 GMT | 19:30 local
10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT |
07:00 PDT
18th Match, Super 8, Group 1Sri Lanka Vs West Indies
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Sun Sep 30
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT |
03:00 PDT
19th Match, Super 9, Group 2 Australia Vs South AfricaR. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sun Sep 30
14:00 GMT | 19:30 local
10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT |
07:00 PDT
20th Match, Super 8, Group 2
India Vs Pakistan
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Mon Oct 1
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT |
03:00 PDT
21st Match, Super 8, Group 1
New Zealand Vs West Indies
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Mon Oct 1
14:00 GMT | 19:30 local
10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT |
07:00 PDT
22nd Match, Super 8, Group 1
Sri Lanka Vs England
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Tue Oct 2
10:00 GMT | 15:30 local
06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT |
03:00 PDT
23rd Match, Super 8, Group 2 Australia Vs Pakistan
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Tue Oct 2
14:00 GMT | 19:30 local
10:00 EDT | 09:00 CDT |
07:00 PDT
24th Match, Super 8, Group 2
India Vs South Africa
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Thu Oct 4
13:30 GMT | 19:00 local
09:30 EDT | 08:30 CDT |
06:30 PDT
1st Semi-Final – TBC Vs TBC
(Super 8 Group-1 1 Vs Super 8 Group-2 2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Fri Oct 5
13:30 GMT | 19:00 local
09:30 EDT | 08:30 CDT |
06:30 PDT
2nd Semi-Final – TBC Vs TBC(Super 8 Group-2 1 Vs Super 8 Group-1 2
)R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sun Oct 7
13:30 GMT | 19:00 local
09:30 EDT | 08:30 CDT |
06:30 PDT
Final – TBC Vs TBC
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

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ICC T20 World Cup 2012 Cricket Tournament Schedule


The inaugural match between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka would take place on September 18, 2012 at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota. The tournament would conclude on October 7, with the finals played at the Premdasa Stadium, Colombo.

The 12 teams that are participating: Sri Lanka (the host), Zimbabwe, Australia, Ireland, Afghanistan, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Bangladesh, West Indies, Pakistan and England.

Click this link to watch live cricket streaming on crictime.com 

Initial Groups Super Eight (S8) Groups
Group A – England, India, Afghanistan
Group B – Australia, West Indies, Ireland
Group C – Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Group D – Pakistan, New Zealand, Bangladesh
Group 1 – A1, B2, C1, D2
Group 2 – A2, B1, C2, D1

.

Date & Time Match Details
Thu Sep 13
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 1st T20
Ireland vs Zimbabwe
Moors Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Thu Sep 13
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 2nd T20
Sri Lanka vs West Indies
Nondescripts Cricket Club, Colombo
Sat Sep 15
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 3rd T20
Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka 
Moors Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Sat Sep 15
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 4th T20
Australia vs New Zealand
Nondescripts Cricket Club, Colombo
Sat Sep 15
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 5th T20
Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe
Colts Cricket Club Ground, Colombo
Sat Sep 15
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 6th T20
India vs Sri Lanka
P Sara Oval, Colombo
Mon Sep 17
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 7th T20
Australia vs England
Nondescripts Cricket Club, Colombo
Mon Sep 17
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 8th T20
Bangladesh vs Ireland
Moors Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Mon Sep 17
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 9th T20
New Zealand vs South Africa
Colts Cricket Club Ground, Colombo
Mon Sep 17
14:00 local | 08:30 GMT
Warm Up : 10th T20
Afghanistan vs West Indies
P Sara Oval, Colombo
Mon Sep 17
14:00 local | 08:30 GMT
Warm Up : 11th T20
India vs Pakistan
R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Wed Sep 19
09:30 local | 04:00 GMT
Warm Up : 12th T20
England vs Pakistan
P Sara Oval, Colombo
Tue Sep 18

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group C : 1st T20
Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
Wed Sep 19

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Group B : 2nd T20
Australia vs Ireland
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Wed Sep 19

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group A : 3rd T20
India vs Afghanistan
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Thu Sep 20

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group C : 4th T20
South Africa vs Zimbabwe
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
Fri Sep 21

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Group D : 5th T20
New Zealand vs Bangladesh
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Fri Sep 21

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group A : 6th T20
England vs Afghanistan
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sat Sep 22

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Group C : 7th T20
Sri Lanka vs South Africa
Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota
Sat Sep 22

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group B : 8th T20
Australia vs West Indies
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sun Sep 23

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Group D : 9th T20
New Zealand vs Pakistan
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Sun Sep 23

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group A : 10th T20
England vs India
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Mon Sep 24

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group B : 11th T20
West Indies vs Ireland
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Tue Sep 25

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Group D : 12th T20
Bangladesh vs Pakistan
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Thu Sep 27

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 13th T20
TBC vs TBC (C1 v D2)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Thu Sep 27

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 14th T20
TBC vs TBC (A1 v B2)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Fri Sep 28

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 15th T20 – TBC vs TBC (D1 v C2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Fri Sep 28

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 16th T20
TBC vs TBC (B1 v A2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sat Sep 29

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 17th T20
TBC vs TBC (A1 v D2)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Sat Sep 29

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 18th T20
TBC vs TBC (C1 v B2)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Sun Sep 30

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 19th T20
TBC vs TBC (B1 v C2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sun Sep 30

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 20th T20
TBC vs TBC (D1 v A2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Mon Oct 1

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 21st T20 –
TBC vs TBC (B2 v D2)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Mon Oct 1

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 1 : 22nd T20
TBC vs TBC (A1 v C1)
Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
Tue Oct 2

15:30 local | 10:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 23rd T20
TBC vs TBC (B1 v D1)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Tue Oct 2

19:30 local | 14:00 GMT
Super Eights, Group 2 : 24th T20
TBC vs TBC (A2 v C2)
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Thu Oct 4

19:00 local | 13:30 GMT
1st Semi Final T20
SE Group-1 1 v SE Group-2 2
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Fri Oct 5

19:00 local | 13:30 GMT
2nd Semi Final T20
SE Group-2 1 vS SE Group-1 2
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sun Oct 7

19:00 local | 13:30 GMT
Final T20 – SF1 WINNERS vs SF2 WINNERS
R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
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