Congratulations Kumar we are proud of you!

Jun - 18 - 2011
H. Seneviratne

Sri Lanka is greatly honoured. One of the greatest wicket keeper batsmen of the world, former Sri Lanka Cricket Captain, a product of Trinity College, Kandy and University of Ceylon Colombo – Law Faculty, Kumar Sangakkara has been selected to deliver this year 2011, MCC SPIRIT OF CRICKET COWDREY LECTURE.

The 33 year old Kumar Sangakkara, will also take over from former Australian Keeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist, as the youngest man to deliver this prestigious lecture at the M C C. Tracing the history of this lecture, some outstanding names of cricketers and luminaries come to my mind are Geoff Boycott and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Way back in 1981, another Sri Lankan, whom I consider as the “Yugapurusha” of Sri Lanka cricket, another distinguished Trinitian late Gamini Dissanayaka, at the MCC Headquarters with a brilliant piece of oratory made a case for Sri Lanka’s to gain Test Status. In his own inimitable style, he made his fantastic superb speech which helped SL to gain Test status. His speech still echoes in our minds. He enormously helped us to enter the Big Club.

After 1931, Kumar Sangakkara, will have the proud distinction of addressing at the Committee Room at Lords in 2011. Both are proud Trinitians. They are both humble, simple, unassuming gentlemen of the highest order. They always sport an enchanting smile, which mirrors the culture of this paradise – Sri Lanka.

Kumar Sangakkara who hails from Matale was born on October 27, 1977. His father is Swarna Kumara Sangakkara and mother Kumari Surangana Sangakkara. They had four children – two daughters and two sons, including Kumara and Sri Lanka Tennis Star Saranga.

Respice Finem – Look to the end

The former Sri Lanka skipper, Kumar Sangakkara studied at Trinity College, Kandy, one of the leading Anglican schools established in 1872 by Founder Rev Ireland Jones. The present principal is an old boy Brigadier Udaya Ariyaratne, a fine educationist and a disciplinarian. The 11th principal of Trinity was the first Ceylonese C E Simithraarachchy.


The school song begins with the line “Its good to see the school we knew” and the last lines “We will Honour the schools we knew – the best school of All we will honour yet the rule we knew, till the last bell call. For working days or holidays.

To obtain a lion for outstanding performance in Cricket, Rugby, Boxing, Athletics, Military Efficiency is a big achievement for a Trinitian. The college motto is Respice Finem – Look to the End.

Clear Voice

His full name is Chokshanada Kumar Sangakkara. The Chokshanada is an uncommon name.

“The name was given to me, by my father. Out of 4 children, my father picked me to have this “uncommon name with Kumara. The word Chokshanada means “Clear Voice”. I do not use this name very often. In fact, some of my class-mates at school Trinity College, Kandy, Sri Lanka, used to make fun at school for this name, stated Kumar Sangakkara.

No doubt, Kumar Sangakkara is blessed with a “Dulcet Sweet” Clear Voice” and when he speaks it is a “treat to listen” to him. His batting is also a “Treat to watch”. He is a complete cricketer.

Brilliant Orators

Sri Lanka can proudly boast of brilliant speakers. Out of the galaxy of the names that come to my mind are late Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, Dudley Senanayake, Bernard Soysa, G. G. Ponnambalam, C. Sunderalingam, Dr N. M. Perera, J. R. Jayewardene, Dr Colvin R. De Silva, Philip Gunawardena, Dr. S. A. Wickramasinghe, Pieter Keuneman, Senators Doric De Souza, Nadesan, Reggie Perera etc.

At Trinity College, Kandy, where Kumar Sangakkara studied, there were outstanding speakers of international repute, like Lakshman Kadirgamar, Gamini Dissanayake, Lakshman Jayakody and highly respected dynamic educated Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama who can speak fluently on any topic.

There are three brilliant, outstanding Sri Lankan cricket captains, who are blessed with the gift of the gab. They are Ranjan Madugalle (Trinity and Royal), Mahela Jayawardena (Nalanda), Kumar Sangakkara (Trinity).

They shone like “Evening stars”. Further, they are lovable personalities, charismatic and attractive in their behaviour on and off the field. They are unassuming charming and pleasant.

I personally feel M C C selected the most suitable current cricketing personality, a complete cricketer Kumar Sangakkara, who maintains a Clear Voice, Dulcet Tones to address on spirit of cricket Cowdrey lecture.

Kumar, my congratulations to you. As a son of Sri Lanka you keep our proud Lion Flag flying high. The entire country is proud of you. Well Done – Keep it up!

Who is Colin Cowdrey?

M. C. Cowdrey, later Baron Cowdrey of Tonbridge (OU) and Kent. President of MCC – 1986 – 1987 was born on December 24, 1932.

He played 114 Tests, in 188 innings, remained unbeaten on 15 times. He scored 7624 runs, H. S. 182, Average 44.06. He had 22 centuries, 36 half centuries, 120 catches. He bowled 119 deliveries, gave away 104 runs and captured no wickets.

What is a Good Speech

If some one ask me to define what a Good Speech is? I will say, “A good speech is like a “Girls Frock”, so short to arouse interest, but long enough to cover the subject.

There are few tips that I give you to prepare a superb speech. They are the following:

Research your audience, who you will be speaking to; speak passionately with clear voice; have simple and light fun; keep it simple, smaller, shorter, chunks of information so that your audience will absorb; instead of creating a “speech”, develop your talk as a conversation between you and your audience; involve the audience, but last not least remember the Three R’s Rehearse, Revise, Repeat. Practise your speech before you deliver. Always remember the 5 P’s – Prior – Preparation – Prevents – Poor Performance.

“Pujacha Pujaniyanam” – Respecting the Respectable

Kumar Sangakkara started playing cricket at Trinity at the tender age of 13. His first coach was Upananda Jayasundera. Then, he was coached by Muralidharan’s coach Sunil Fernando, late Sonny Yatawara, the brilliant Anandian fast bowler who clean bowled Sir Garfield Sobers, and legendary Bertie Wijesinghe, one of the finest, nicest, gentlemen and an exemplary coach, who produced gentleman cricketers.

“They are all wonderful men. They guided all of us at Trinity. They not only taught us cricket but moulded our character. Thanks to them we are in this position, today.

As a Buddhist, Kumar follows a good habit which is included in “Mangala Sutta” –

Pujata Pujaniyanam – Respecting the Respectable.

Some men, when they get into higher positions have a tendency to forget their teachers, parents, coaches etc. That’s the quality of low Bred ones.

This world renowned cricketer Kumar Sangakkara who will deliver the speech at MCC always paid his highest respect, regard to his teachers. He speak to elders with respect. A great quality of Sangakkara is that he never forgot his roots.

Two Trinitians – Gamini D.- Kumar S

We must remember with gratitude, Trinitian, Gamini Dissanayake, Charismatic personality of world cricket, almost 30 years ago, made a charismatic,colourful case for Sri Lanka cricket on June 1981, winning over the fustiest of cricket administrators with a brilliant eloquent plea for them to be granted Test status.

As a sublime orator this great man Yuga Purusha – Man of the Era, son of Sri Lanka late Gamini Dissanayake played the greatest innings of oratorical skill and won the day for Sri Lanka. It was a great knock full of diplomacy and Sri Lanka was granted Test status.

Today, after three decades another Trinitian former Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara’s oratorical skill will fill the air of the Lords Committee Room. It will be another brilliant oration, that will bring credit and honour to Sri Lanka. Keep it up Sanga!

Written by Premasara Epasinghe obtained from the dailynews newspaper(27th May 2011)

Related Posts:


Published 7 years ago

Posted in Alumni, Cricket, Events, History, Letters

facebook youtube email