July 14, 2011

Will more Sangakkaras stand up and be counted?

Players have more power than they think. More of them need to take a stand for the good of the game
42

Silence can often be a conspiracy against justice. Many things stay wrong not because the world is full of bad people but because good men choose not to get involved. Kumar Sangakkara has done his duty to cricket, and Sri Lanka, by raising his voice against the rot in the country's cricket.

Cricketers have a duty to the game that extends beyond the playing field. It is a reasonable argument that they serve the game best with bat or ball in hand, and that their skills are ill-suited for business off the field. But they have an obligation to be the moral custodians of the game. They have the affections of the fans, and their voices carry credibility. They can make a bigger difference than they often imagine.

The silence of the leading international cricketers during the match-fixing scandal in 2000 was unedifying and unbecoming. Perhaps they were unsure; perhaps they were afraid, but character is tested at such times. Those who spoke up - Steve Waugh and Sourav Ganguly among them - distinguished themselves, but far too many big players retreated to their own corners while the game bled.

In recent times players have spoken their mind to address personal grievances. Simon Katich spared no words in slamming the Australian selectors for dropping him. A couple of his mates sprang to his side. Paul Collingwood, though not in terms as severe, said what he thought of being dropped from England's limited-over teams after having led them to victory in the World Twenty20. Shahid Afridi took on the Pakistan Cricket Board after being sacked as captain. And Chris Gayle has launched nothing short of a war on the West Indies Cricket Board.

Occasionally players have let their positions be known on matters like the Decision Review System or scheduling. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is an open critic of the DRS, but then he has his board's support in the matter. Complaints about excessive cricket, though, have been somewhat muted since the inception of the IPL and subsequently the Champions League.

The most significant aspect of Sangakkara's speech that it was made after he had voluntarily surrendered leadership. It can be argued he was compelled by circumstances, but by no account was he pushed. And the speech wasn't made in haste or in the pique of the moment: he had taken his time to deliberate the contents of it and the likely consequences. Even the most cynical evaluation of the event will not yield an ulterior motive. Sangakkara had nothing to gain personally from it; if anything, he was risking retribution - a fine, or worse.

As the game has grown more and more commercial, cricketers have found themselves bound by more and more disciplinary codes. Through the ages, cricketers have been expected to be ambassadors for their nation and role models for their fans. But increasingly they are expected to safeguard commercial interests more than the ideals of the sport.

Cricketers are better remunerated than they have ever been in the history of the game, and they shouldn't be grudged their wealth, for they are the reason the game prospers. However, as the stakes rise, so does the temptation to conform to the wills of those who control the purse strings. But principles should count for something. They must.

Governance represents the biggest challenge to a game that finds itself at a crossroads. Lack of leadership is palpable. So are lack of vision and accountability. Most cricket boards are run by people who don't really care about cricket. Some are ruled by proxy by politicians, some are run by personal agendas, and some are plain incompetent. Cricket is in perpetual crisis in the West Indies; the PCB is a joke; Sri Lankan cricket is insolvent and is permanently governed by interim committees; Cricket South Africa torn by a power struggle between the board and the executive; and the Indian cricket board, which controls the largest share of cricket's riches, cares only about itself.

The obsessive pursuit of money and power has drained cricket of its moral voice. Principles count for nothing; few dare to stand up for what is right. The game needs to find its true leaders

But while it is undeniable that the BCCI imposes its will on the game, the rest are complicit by their silence. It is simplistic and convenient to lay all the blame for the ills of the game at the doors of the BCCI. If the BCCI has hijacked the global cricket agenda it can be only because the rest have played willing victims.

The reality is that they are all chasing the same thing. The IPL is held responsible for subverting the global cricket calendar, but if they had the wherewithal every cricket board would have its own IPL. The England board bent backwards to woo Allen Stanford, the Texas billionaire now in jail for financial fraud; Cricket Australia is desperate to make the Big Bash, the franchise-based Twenty20 tournament, the showpiece event in its domestic calendar; and cricket boards like those of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have simply resigned themselves to doles from the BCCI.

The obsessive pursuit of money and power has drained cricket of its moral voice. Principles count for nothing; few dare to stand up for what is right. The game needs to find its true leaders.

If they so wish, cricketers can provide that leadership. It's not naïve to suggest that the game could find its own Arab spring if Sangakkara's fellow players take his lead. Cricketers mustn't underestimate their own strength. Along with the fans, they are the true owners of the game.

By standing up, Sangakkara has shown courage and honour; but it will amount to nothing if he is alone. It is for the rest to show that they care. They owe everything to the game.

Sambit Bal is the editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AdityaMookerjee on July 17, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    It is another matter that Sangakkara accepts remuneration from the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. Isn't it a bit odd, that he is complaining to those who pay him, about their conduct towards the game? There is not one party only, which is the cause of the problems of cricket. How many citizens in Sri Lanka have given their voice to Sri Lankan cricket? If there are processions on the street, for Sri Lankan Cricket in Sri Lanka, then that will put a scare in the Sri Lankan cricket board. Sri Lankan society is responsible for Sri Lankan Cricket, as Indian society is responsible for Indian Cricket. But, how do citizens monitor their sports bodies all the time? I believe Sangakkara is a lone voice in Sri Lankan Cricket. Those associated with the Sri Lankan board, who make a noise, are deemed to be speaking because they have personal vested interests. But then, so does Sangakkara.

  • chandau on July 17, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    @ anuradha_d : mate if ur SRI LANKAN listen or read the WHOLE speech and incase have difficulty with the language seek an expert to explain the contents. One swallow dont make a summer and one line quote does not make a speech! this is the best speech outside srilanka since Lakshman K spoke at Oxford, a speech that dignified the country and gave due respect to our valient forces for the freedom now people enjoy. his speech did more than any ass of a diplomat to counter the Cannel 4 issue and show the world we are still a multi ethnic, religious, cultural country that allows pluralism and tolerance. Anyway i doubt if there are any speakers capable of such eloquence in our parliament or the diplomatic service to fly the lion flag high and hold an english speaking audiences' attention for one long hour !!! pity we could not repeat the same king of performance in the back yard and bring the ODI cup at least :)

  • maddy20 on July 16, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    Right! See where his "Courage" is gonna put him when he returns to SL. No country can afford to lose their cricketing heroes who lambast against the board in front media to show their heroism. Imagine what would have happened to us if we lost Sachin, Dhoni, Dravid etc., to such things. Its just not worth it. Considering the fact that BCCI is the richest cricket board and our team is performing exceptionally well and is not involved in any contreversies like some of our neighbors one can say they are doing pretty good.

  • ashok16 on July 15, 2011, 23:33 GMT

    Good balanced article by Sambit Bal. Though it does fly against the solely anti-India articles that have started to come up in the recent months. May I suggest that cricinfo restrict its editorialising to one person (my preference is Sambit Bal but then I dont own the portal) and have the rest of cricinfo stick to cricket reporting. Cricket is being treated like a morality play by too many columnists on cricinfo.

  • SibaMohanty on July 15, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    Tremendous stuff, Mr Bal. Sad, in India, nobody - barring a few, of course - has the willingness or even courage to speak up. The biggest and most successful of them speak in unison with the BCCI because it suits them and vice versa. UDRS was one example. So are IPL and excessive cricket.

    Sangakkara is different. The fine speaker that he is, this cricketer has guts and gumption. He has served cricket well. The game needs more of his ilk.

  • anuradha_d on July 15, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    stand up and be counted? for what? to wash dirty linen in public? and to give media the masala to to continue their tirades against Asian boards.

    Sangkarrra should be disciplined for expressing his opinion in an inappropriate forum

  • Alexk400 on July 15, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    Ok Ok i am biased against Sanga because of his over aggressive caught behind for everything even ball did n't even touch the pad and he does that knowingly. He has tthis method if you appeal 10 times ...umpires sooner or later will raise his finger. He is only wicket keeper who does this often. I am fan of more polished jayawardene than sanga. Sanga is more attention seeker to my mind. Sanga is a tough cookie though. ifdhoni speaks his mind BCCI will dump him. Sachin speaks his mind , they will listen to him and ignore him. BCCI people listen to who has the money and who has the votes. first Dalmiya , then Pawar now Srinivasan show. These people not gona listen to any cricketer. They dumped Kapil dev , dumped gavaskar also.

  • on July 15, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    lol venkatchalam why should Sachin or dhoni or whomever complain just for the heck off it.I mean BCCI has its flaws but atleast it has financially kept the players well rewarded.Just for the sake of raising voice why should one do it.I mean just imagine during 70s when players had to pay their own laundry bills and now.I cant understand holier than cow attitude in these comments.I mean we all want money in life and want to be riich but yes if someone else becomes we feel they are immoral greedy or what ever

  • on July 15, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Hope this article serves as a wakeup call for superheroes like Sachin, MSD and others.

  • demon_bowler on July 15, 2011, 3:04 GMT

    Sambit, of all your many fine columns, this is the very best. I concur with every word.

  • AdityaMookerjee on July 17, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    It is another matter that Sangakkara accepts remuneration from the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. Isn't it a bit odd, that he is complaining to those who pay him, about their conduct towards the game? There is not one party only, which is the cause of the problems of cricket. How many citizens in Sri Lanka have given their voice to Sri Lankan cricket? If there are processions on the street, for Sri Lankan Cricket in Sri Lanka, then that will put a scare in the Sri Lankan cricket board. Sri Lankan society is responsible for Sri Lankan Cricket, as Indian society is responsible for Indian Cricket. But, how do citizens monitor their sports bodies all the time? I believe Sangakkara is a lone voice in Sri Lankan Cricket. Those associated with the Sri Lankan board, who make a noise, are deemed to be speaking because they have personal vested interests. But then, so does Sangakkara.

  • chandau on July 17, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    @ anuradha_d : mate if ur SRI LANKAN listen or read the WHOLE speech and incase have difficulty with the language seek an expert to explain the contents. One swallow dont make a summer and one line quote does not make a speech! this is the best speech outside srilanka since Lakshman K spoke at Oxford, a speech that dignified the country and gave due respect to our valient forces for the freedom now people enjoy. his speech did more than any ass of a diplomat to counter the Cannel 4 issue and show the world we are still a multi ethnic, religious, cultural country that allows pluralism and tolerance. Anyway i doubt if there are any speakers capable of such eloquence in our parliament or the diplomatic service to fly the lion flag high and hold an english speaking audiences' attention for one long hour !!! pity we could not repeat the same king of performance in the back yard and bring the ODI cup at least :)

  • maddy20 on July 16, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    Right! See where his "Courage" is gonna put him when he returns to SL. No country can afford to lose their cricketing heroes who lambast against the board in front media to show their heroism. Imagine what would have happened to us if we lost Sachin, Dhoni, Dravid etc., to such things. Its just not worth it. Considering the fact that BCCI is the richest cricket board and our team is performing exceptionally well and is not involved in any contreversies like some of our neighbors one can say they are doing pretty good.

  • ashok16 on July 15, 2011, 23:33 GMT

    Good balanced article by Sambit Bal. Though it does fly against the solely anti-India articles that have started to come up in the recent months. May I suggest that cricinfo restrict its editorialising to one person (my preference is Sambit Bal but then I dont own the portal) and have the rest of cricinfo stick to cricket reporting. Cricket is being treated like a morality play by too many columnists on cricinfo.

  • SibaMohanty on July 15, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    Tremendous stuff, Mr Bal. Sad, in India, nobody - barring a few, of course - has the willingness or even courage to speak up. The biggest and most successful of them speak in unison with the BCCI because it suits them and vice versa. UDRS was one example. So are IPL and excessive cricket.

    Sangakkara is different. The fine speaker that he is, this cricketer has guts and gumption. He has served cricket well. The game needs more of his ilk.

  • anuradha_d on July 15, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    stand up and be counted? for what? to wash dirty linen in public? and to give media the masala to to continue their tirades against Asian boards.

    Sangkarrra should be disciplined for expressing his opinion in an inappropriate forum

  • Alexk400 on July 15, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    Ok Ok i am biased against Sanga because of his over aggressive caught behind for everything even ball did n't even touch the pad and he does that knowingly. He has tthis method if you appeal 10 times ...umpires sooner or later will raise his finger. He is only wicket keeper who does this often. I am fan of more polished jayawardene than sanga. Sanga is more attention seeker to my mind. Sanga is a tough cookie though. ifdhoni speaks his mind BCCI will dump him. Sachin speaks his mind , they will listen to him and ignore him. BCCI people listen to who has the money and who has the votes. first Dalmiya , then Pawar now Srinivasan show. These people not gona listen to any cricketer. They dumped Kapil dev , dumped gavaskar also.

  • on July 15, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    lol venkatchalam why should Sachin or dhoni or whomever complain just for the heck off it.I mean BCCI has its flaws but atleast it has financially kept the players well rewarded.Just for the sake of raising voice why should one do it.I mean just imagine during 70s when players had to pay their own laundry bills and now.I cant understand holier than cow attitude in these comments.I mean we all want money in life and want to be riich but yes if someone else becomes we feel they are immoral greedy or what ever

  • on July 15, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Hope this article serves as a wakeup call for superheroes like Sachin, MSD and others.

  • demon_bowler on July 15, 2011, 3:04 GMT

    Sambit, of all your many fine columns, this is the very best. I concur with every word.

  • Penny71 on July 15, 2011, 2:41 GMT

    Can BCCI have an independent opinion than of Schin's? I don't blame him for all. I am SL and does not have petty views like that. But he does have the most influence. BCCI dare to to anything that does not please him. This is my point. Hope you got it this time.

  • Sinhabahu on July 15, 2011, 1:30 GMT

    Smashing article, Sambit. Sanga spoke about how politicians have ruined cricket in Sri Lanka, but as many commentators have mentioned, politicians have actually destroyed Sri Lanka as a whole. 850 years ago Sri Lanka was known even in as far away as the Ottoman and Byzantine courts as the Granary of the East; whole kingdoms would starve if it wasn't for our rice exports. We were even strong enough to send military expeditions to south India and Burma to affect regime changes to suit our economy, similar to what the USA has been doing for the last 50 years. But now look at us! A tragic civil war later, we are the ones taking a begging bowl overseas while our politicians (regardless of their party) swim in their ill-gotten money. Disgusting. Sanga may well run for president but, knowing the deep-set corruption and cronyism prevalent at all levels in Sri Lanka, he will have a mountain and a half to climb, assuming a decent guy like him even gets elected in the first place.

  • CricketFan2011WC on July 14, 2011, 21:32 GMT

    @Ellis, Sambit Bal does deserve praise, but I do not agree that Peter Roebuck deserves it, as some of his arguments were untrue and only imaginative. They appear to be, had been put together, may be by mere listening to Sang's talk.

  • Philip_Gnana on July 14, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    Whilst we can applaud the courage and the moral high ground that Sangakkara has held, we cannot forget that the most senior players Sanga & Mahela, did not turn up for the warm up matches. They along with a few other were busy, increasing their riches via the IPL. Their initial absense showed in their performance in the tests.

    The BCCI surely is pulling the shoe strings and will continue to do so. Other than the two major nations in Australia & England, I cannot see the rest being able to manage on their own. The money spinning ashes series may be just sufficient for these two boards. The rest of the nations are heavily dependant on the Indian tours and of course the IPL. We have seen outside influences in cricket in most of the other nations too. When Arjuna Ranatunga (Mr Squeeky Clean) took charge of SL Cricket there were enough influences from other quaters who along with cricketing personnel with vested interest ousting him and no one complained then, no one will now. Surrey.

  • on July 14, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    Sanga is Right........SL board Pakistani Board take players in same sense......They never respect senior whaty they did for Country.....

  • Jim1207 on July 14, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    When Dhoni and Sachin would stand up for better technology, you would report they take more power than they have even though the technology was not proved to be accurate by anyone. Like statistics, same words can be used to praise or rebuke a person.

  • CricketFan2011WC on July 14, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    Well said Sambit, well said..

  • on July 14, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    Kumble/Dravid/Sreenath joining Karanataka board is one such step..more such instances should come forward rather than MPs and MLAs being on governing bodies of cricket boads.

  • NP_NY on July 14, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    I applaud Sanga for what he did. But I wouldn't associate his speech with "courage and honor". He spoke openly during his speech because he has nothing to lose. SL is not going to bench him or deny a contract and he's still going to make money courtesy of IPL. But I certainly respect him for saying it the way it is.

  • on July 14, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    Contents of this article is true for almost all countries other than Sri Lanka. Tomorrow our great king Mahinda Rajapaksa will appoint his son Naman as the Sri Lanka Cricket Chief!!!! Long live Sri lanka cricket!

  • amit_mangal30 on July 14, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    ok. this is great. Sanga said something (and that is great and we applaud it), but why are people ill-commenting about Sachin here too? Get a life people, we are ready to accept that your next door neighbour kid broke your home glasses while hitting a six since he wants to become Sachin (on a different continent altogether), but we are not ready to accept that your players and boards are corrupt since Sachin does not set examples to stand up and complain about it.

  • KingOwl on July 14, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    I am all for what Kumar said. But, let us not get too carried away by our moral outrage towards the existing situation. First, money rules. If we deny this fact, nobody is going anywhere. Denial is not a solution. Second, when reading the article, what is clear is that the boards that are well governed, well run, are those from Anglo countries. England, Aus and NZ. These are also the only rich, developed countries. That is no coincidence. While I hate to say it, the problems with cricket boards in all these countries is just symptomatic of the cultures of those countries. There are no easy solutions or quick fixes to such problems. Cricketers and well wishers have to be ready for the long haul. Only with economic and civil society development will come good cricket administrations in these countries.

  • Ellis on July 14, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    Sambit Bal and Peter Roebuck deserve praise for writing strong articles in support of Kumara Sangakkara. Mr. Bal is right when he says the leading players-past and present- must stand up and be counted. This is especially true in Sri Lanka where it is unlikely that the younger players will voice opinions in support of Sangakkara for fear of losing their careers. However, early indications are that Sangakkara's views have a lot of support at all levels of society in Sri Lanka. That is because his comments touch on a broader malaise than that affecting just Cricket. It will indeed be very sad if Sangakkara is punished for speaking the truth. However, that is often the way in that beautiful country. Blaming the BCCI is a cop-out fueled by jealousy. Hopefully, Mr. Sangakkara is not left twisting in the wind.

  • denwarlo70 on July 14, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    @montycool and alexk400, I think you two have got your wires crossed and the shock emanating from it has taken affect on your brains. Come on guys, there was no political agenda in there and the boy was not afraid to call a spade a spade even at the great risk of having his lustrous carrier in jeopardy. Another man in Sri Lanka was Arjuna Ranathunga but his stint at the board was cut short by authorities because he was cleaning up it's mess.

  • Balumekka on July 14, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    @Alexk400: Yes, For your level of understanding, this may be "Another empty politician talk" or "Sanga wants to be Sri Lankan president". Pity that you have such disrespect for a great cricketer. But for many unbiased cricket fans, Sanga's talk is a gem.

  • WPDDESILVA on July 14, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    Mark my words - Sanga will never go into Politics in Sri Lanka. It's a place more corrupted than hell. He might influence the ICC but never politics.

  • Montycool on July 14, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    Sanga wants to be srilankan president.. :P

  • Alexk400 on July 14, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    Sanga wants to be srilankan president. And he will be. Sanga is more clever and cunning. i give him that. He talks big things. Will he do it when he has power. Nope. Another empty politician talk. You may say atleast he has guts to talk on leadership and governance. i think who ever has money dictate things. Until another revolution happens. if every cricket boards think in unison , we will have world cricket league not IPL. At present cronies in every cricket boards blaming BCCI but taking easy money from BCCI without doing much work. That is lack of leadership. I do think ECB , Aussie ,SA, NZ cricket boards has to create world cricket league. BCCI will not give up IPL easy unless people see another better alternative. IPL is main reason for all BCCI power. They reject UDRS in general because they feel they can influence umpires by hiring them for IPL. Cut the money , They all the fall in line.

  • kabe_ag7 on July 14, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    @Penny71 - So after faulting BCCI alone for all the mismanagement at the ICC, now it's Sachin who is at fault for all the wrongs done by the BCCI? Just read the article again and get the point this time.

  • on July 14, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    Hats off to Sambit! This is so far the best article to have come out after that awesome speech by Sanga at the MCC. A valuable article by Sambit that surely stands elated to make Sanga's effort worthful. More great cricketers of the present and past should stand united and come forward to give their opinions on this once in a life time brave speech by Sanga and help protect the Spirit of the Gentleman's Game intact before its too late. Hats off to Sambit! This is so far the best article to have come out after that awesome speech by Sanga at the MCC. A valuable article by Sambit that surely stands elated to make Sanga's effort worthful. More great cricketers of the present and past should stand united and come forward to give their opinions on this once in a life time brave speech by Sanga and help protect the Spirit of the Gentleman's Game intact before its too late.

  • on July 14, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    Proud to be a Sri Lankan & proud about you, Sanga. Proud that a Sri Lankan took the initial step. Yes of course we need more Sangakkaras to safeguard cricket. Otherwise there won't be a game called cricket in the future. BTW a good article.

  • sunilvaidya on July 14, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    gavaskar has no guts to be a selector and prefers to indulge in money making that his stature allows and sometimes takes potshots at the selection committe. he refuses to be a coach or do any other constructive thing.

    dont expect big names from indian cricket to do that. not many will do it. and those who do try to improve cricket in india will get a lot of abuse and criticism from the same cricket fans who want that there should be positive changes.

    i am very sure sachin is also going to follow in the above illustrious players footsteps...he will also refuse to become a selector or coach and will either become a commentator or write books continue his endorsements, do a tv show, write columns for huge remuneration etc....

  • Penny71 on July 14, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    Don't expect Sachin to be different from BCCI when he himself is the most influential person keeping the grip on BCCI decisions. There is less honest people in the game now with few exceptions like Sanga, who truelly a stand out.

  • yorkslanka on July 14, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    Sanga will soon become ostracised from the game as that us the only power the board has but even despite knowing this, his love for the game and also the people of Sri Lanka kept him going. Sanga you make me proud to be a sri Lankan and in terms of the cronies on the board,what goes around,comes around...

  • on July 14, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    Love uuuuu SANGA........

  • Balumekka on July 14, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Great article Sambit! This must be the initiative to break the vicious cycle. Millions of true cricket lovers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan witnessed cricket authorities in their respective countries ruining the Cricket. As spectators, what we feel as Cricket is totally different from what political cricket governors feel. Many valuable cricket careers prematurely ended due to bad management. Blaming BCCI for everything, Im afraid, is not the solution, as many cricket board willingly became victims of BCCI. One brave player called Sangakkara stood against this broke the silence. Now others have to join him soon, otherwise the grace, glory and pride of cricket will be soon lost!

  • George1123 on July 14, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    Is there a link to this speech?

  • on July 14, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    We cricket loving fans too are not fools as our Government thinks.When we lost to India in the Final was there one word called "Lamai Ohama Yamu"Boys lets go like this,which is a very common Phrase used by Sanga to encourage the players. In the final this wasn't to be.This is because he was not given the right players?

  • on July 14, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Absolutely necessary!! Sachin, Gayle etc need to follow this man's example as the stars of the game. If players do not accept this type of raut then Cricket will survive long into the future.

  • stormy16 on July 14, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    Money and the greed for more is the reason for the issues raised here being; why the cricket boards and players stay silent or bend over backwards to appease the BCCI ETC. Anyone that doest (for example appease the BCCI as SLC just found out) cannot survive and any player that doesnt (for example Afridi, Gayle and more than likely Sanga) conform to the wishes of its board, will be marginalised from playing. The horrible truth is there is no reward (financial) for being honorable or doing and saying the right thing and in reality, punishment awaits those trying to do the right thing. As long as those values are upheld (as opposed to the spirit of cricket ETC that are used as slogans by the ICC and Boards) the issues will remain the same if not getting worse. Interestingly the cricket boards mentioned here (as stuffing things up) dont include Eng and Aus, the original custodians who nutured the game for a century before. There is a lesson here but that is a different debate.

  • on July 14, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    The BCCI will do well to remember that there is a second 'C' in that acronym and it does not stand for commercialization. Too much Control and too little Cricket. The game needs more Sangakaras.

  • on July 14, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    The BCCI will do well to remember that there is a second 'C' in that acronym and it does not stand for commercialization. Too much Control and too little Cricket. The game needs more Sangakaras.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on July 14, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    The BCCI will do well to remember that there is a second 'C' in that acronym and it does not stand for commercialization. Too much Control and too little Cricket. The game needs more Sangakaras.

  • on July 14, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    The BCCI will do well to remember that there is a second 'C' in that acronym and it does not stand for commercialization. Too much Control and too little Cricket. The game needs more Sangakaras.

  • stormy16 on July 14, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    Money and the greed for more is the reason for the issues raised here being; why the cricket boards and players stay silent or bend over backwards to appease the BCCI ETC. Anyone that doest (for example appease the BCCI as SLC just found out) cannot survive and any player that doesnt (for example Afridi, Gayle and more than likely Sanga) conform to the wishes of its board, will be marginalised from playing. The horrible truth is there is no reward (financial) for being honorable or doing and saying the right thing and in reality, punishment awaits those trying to do the right thing. As long as those values are upheld (as opposed to the spirit of cricket ETC that are used as slogans by the ICC and Boards) the issues will remain the same if not getting worse. Interestingly the cricket boards mentioned here (as stuffing things up) dont include Eng and Aus, the original custodians who nutured the game for a century before. There is a lesson here but that is a different debate.

  • on July 14, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Absolutely necessary!! Sachin, Gayle etc need to follow this man's example as the stars of the game. If players do not accept this type of raut then Cricket will survive long into the future.

  • on July 14, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    We cricket loving fans too are not fools as our Government thinks.When we lost to India in the Final was there one word called "Lamai Ohama Yamu"Boys lets go like this,which is a very common Phrase used by Sanga to encourage the players. In the final this wasn't to be.This is because he was not given the right players?

  • George1123 on July 14, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    Is there a link to this speech?

  • Balumekka on July 14, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Great article Sambit! This must be the initiative to break the vicious cycle. Millions of true cricket lovers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan witnessed cricket authorities in their respective countries ruining the Cricket. As spectators, what we feel as Cricket is totally different from what political cricket governors feel. Many valuable cricket careers prematurely ended due to bad management. Blaming BCCI for everything, Im afraid, is not the solution, as many cricket board willingly became victims of BCCI. One brave player called Sangakkara stood against this broke the silence. Now others have to join him soon, otherwise the grace, glory and pride of cricket will be soon lost!

  • on July 14, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    Love uuuuu SANGA........

  • yorkslanka on July 14, 2011, 7:05 GMT

    Sanga will soon become ostracised from the game as that us the only power the board has but even despite knowing this, his love for the game and also the people of Sri Lanka kept him going. Sanga you make me proud to be a sri Lankan and in terms of the cronies on the board,what goes around,comes around...

  • Penny71 on July 14, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    Don't expect Sachin to be different from BCCI when he himself is the most influential person keeping the grip on BCCI decisions. There is less honest people in the game now with few exceptions like Sanga, who truelly a stand out.