Sangakkara, you can be the Macron of Sri Lanka!

Thursday, 24 May 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By R. Jayaratne

Dear Kumar Sangakkara,

Thank you very much for directing public attention, once again, to the subject of maladministration of Sri Lanka Cricket at the recent Colombo Club meeting despite being an unpleasant task to take upon at an otherwise pleasing event. 

As is evident, the problem continues with impunity despite your bringing it to the fore internationally, as far back as 2011, at your much-hailed MCC ‘Spirit of Cricket’ Cowdrey Lecture. You were praised for your outspokenness on the lack of accountability and transparency in Sri Lanka’s cricket administration and its loss of credibility and integrity due to a mad power struggle.

It is no mean achievement to have your eloquent speech described as the most important in cricket history. It enhanced your international reputation as an eminent personality.

No doubt, the public share in your continued disillusionment with the deplorable standards of governance, accountability and transparency and mounting corruption, cronyism and authoritarianism which have blurred SLC’s vision, mission and goals. 

Listening to you, one cannot help but draw a parallel to an identical situation in the country’s governance, as well. It is no surprise that the rot has pervaded the entire system mainly due to politicisation at all levels of administration. The priority you so rightly place on change management, commitment and sound leadership in bringing about a positive change in cricket administration applies aptly at the national level as well. 

Your pointed concern on the negative impact of chronic maladministration of cricket over the past two decades and your passionate desire for reform is heartening to a disillusioned public. It not only displays your upright principles and values but also a rare optimism for positive change. 

You have repeatedly demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities on and off the field and in team work, strategy development and implementation of a winning game. An untainted professional record is adequate proof of your integrity. 

In the process of steering your team to victory and acceptance with humility of several defeats, undeterred, you have displaying a rare quality of equanimity as well as an ideal mix of values, attitudes and skills essential for leadership. Universal qualities of a true leader are said to be a mix of vision, integrity, strategic thinking, passion, self-confidence, courage and humility. Your record shows that cricket has honed all these qualities in you.  You have justly earned recognition as a role model for leadership.

It is now quite apparent that you possess the potential to rise to the level of a national leader equipped with the competence, optimism, courage and conviction to reform the current decrepit system of governance.

You are likely to respond that there are many young persons who are smarter and more capable than you for the role of a national leader. But you will have to agree that you have the distinct advantage of universal appeal to all segments of Sri Lankan society in terms of age, gender and ethnicity which is a critical pre-requisite for national leadership which few in power can boast of. 

You display the values and capability of unifying a divided nation and providing leadership with international acceptance.

The need of the hour is for a personality of your stature and recognition to offer fresh hope to national leadership. This is an open appeal made in the fervent hope of garnering a tide of public support for your undoubtedly winning candidacy as a national leader. You can be the Macron of Sri Lanka!

There is a tide in the affairs of men.

Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune

On such a full sea are we now afloat,

And we must take the current when it serves,

Or lose our ventures.