Kumar Sangakkara talks to young cricketers from Hindu College, Matale and Seenigama last weekend. © Pradeep Balaji/Island Cricket.
I’m sure Sanga has no shortage of enemies now. He gave a wide-ranging speech in England, of which different people have picked different parts. Gota liked the part where he supported the war, but the Sports Minister was pissed that he called out corruption and incompetence in the cricket board.
Since the speech was in English (since translated to Sinhala), mainstream audiences in Sinhala and Tamil are getting the interpretation largely second-hand. Perhaps preying on that information gap, the Island group’s Sinhala paper has been running stuff alleging that Kumar Sangakkara is pally with the Americans.
Meeting the American ambassador is not unusual, but in a knee-jerk xenophobic sense, it looks bad. I remember a similar incident where someone leaked that General Sarath Fonseka was meeting with US officials on a visit there. This was before he ran for President, before he got tagged as somehow treasonous and before he got tossed in jail for nonsense allegations of the same.
However, according to Island Cricket, Kumara Sangakkara did not meet the US Ambassador at all.
Island Cricket learns that the former captain was visiting the southern coastal towns of Seenigama and Galle on charity work from Saturday afternoon to Monday night, and did not meet with Butenis.
The English-language daily The Island, owned by the same organisation that publishes the Divaina newspaper, did not report the alleged meeting between Sangakkara and Butenis for its English readership. It, instead, highlighted Sangakkara’s involvement with the charity The Foundation of Goodness last weekend.
It is interesting and I suppose cunning that they’re running separate ops in the Sinhala papers where Sanga’s words don’t carry directly. But WTF. Just fix the cricket board.