Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kumar Sangakara: Wants his cake and eat it too

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I don't understand why it is important for cricket to feign 'nation's interest' when everything about the game seems business focused and justifiable for cash.

Over the issue of whether Kumar Sangakara should play for his IPL franchise or his home province (Kandurata Maroons), in the upcoming Champions League 2013, last week he was incensed that his board tried to 'frame the argument' in a way that made him appear 'disloyal to his country'. Kumar Sangakara and cricketers even greater than him in stature have always put country second when it comes to financials.

No one should grudge them for that and indeed it would be unreasonable, especially in today's environment, to expect cricketers to forgo their financial future to 'play for national interests' when the national boards themselves are chasing cash at the expense of everything that once was deemed sacred in cricket.

So if Kumar Sangakara stands to lose $140K USD, I think it is quite hypocritical of the Sri Lankan Cricket board to make him play for Kandurata in the name of 'national interest'.

Sri Lankan cricketers have routinely showed up late on foreign tours and padded up in Test Matches with hardly any practice just so they can earn a few more dollars playing late into the IPL. So why these pangs of wanting to appear 'loyal to the nation'?

It seems to me that cricketers want to have their money and want to appear patriotic at the same time. Cricket administrators have outsourced their jobs to Television executives in the need for cash but don't want their nation's cricketers to follow the same principle of cash by allowing them to choose their franchises.

Why cover the blatant dash for cash with a sham of a veil of national interest?

People (the common fan) have moved on. They have already seen the writing and are willing to recognize players for what they have to offer in terms of skill and entertainment value. Kevin Pietersen, Lasith Malinga, Sachin Tendulkar have fans all over the world even when they have, at one time or the other, compromised their nations interests over those of the franchises that offer them more cash.

Its time for cricketers to stop pretending, to stop hiding under the artificial veil of ..... "oh!....my country!".

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