Arjuna Ranatunga was the first cricketer to enter the political arena, as far as I recall. He came from a political family, with both his father and brothers having a political background. Nonetheless, in terms of preferential votes, he excelled above others because he was a no one cricketer.
Cricket enthusiasts referred to him as the “hope of the cricket pitch.” This was not without reason. It is because, after being recognised as a test-playing nation and before winning the Asian and World titles, the Sri Lankan team was notorious for being out at a low score and losing matches until Arjuna arrived with his bat to save the team.
He tamed the arrogant and powerful cricket captain Imran Khan and became the first Sri Lankan captain to win the Asian Cup and only Sri Lankan captain to win the world cup. Up to now no Sri Lankan Captain was able to equal this feat.
Arjuna Ranatunga’s entry into politics was historic, but it is unfortunate that he was unable to exercise his cricket royalty in the political arena at all. Arjuna falls into the category of artists who enter politics to serve the arts but fail miserably. Arjuna came to serve sports and cricket but failed miserably, tarnishing his reputation built through cricket. As a result of politics, Arjuna’s image has deteriorated to the point where sports fans have forgotten about him.
Politics was also a passion for Sanath Jayasooriya. He was a master blaster who entered politics and met the same fate as Arjuna. He retired from politics as a forgotten hero, not as a “master blaster.” In media briefings, he too talked about raising cricket standards, but when he left, the game had fallen to a very low level.
Cricketers such as Arjuna and Sanath who rose to prominence in international cricket failed miserably in politics, and Thilakaratna Dilshan, who entered politics, also failed miserably. However, the insignificant Dilshan’s promise to elevate the standard of cricket did not materialise.
When you think about it for a while, there is no difference between the actors and actresses and the cricketers who come to the political arena. What could be the reason for that?
Do all these people come to politics with the theory that ‘breaking bee hive not just to lick the hand’?
No. It is impossible to think so always. There are times not everyone was that way. Kumar Sangakkara is a prime example of that.
Kumar Sangakkara has an illustrious history as an accomplished cricketer. He was a cricket captain who did not lean towards any political party and did not make any compromises. The Sangha had to face some kind of prosecution in front of the law because it started talking directly about the political irregularities in the country. Although various political leaders tried to make the Sangha their own, Sangha did not betray his honour in front of any political leader or party.
Likewise, Sanga was a good-hearted man who was with the Galle Face struggle till the end. Sanga always stood with the struggle when most of the big people who are living in the super style who are making money were turning away from the struggle. Sanga didn’t do that even though the great artists walked and showed their faces for just one day. He spent his personal wealth to quench the thirst of the people in the struggle and to quench the hunger without any benefit.
‘Treat them like this. No one told him that it will be an advantage someday. Sanga did not even have a low intention of profiting by giving food and drink to the struggle. Not only Sanga but also his wife Yehali came to the struggle with the lion flag in her hands. Yehali Sangakkara, dressed in a dark black dress, shouted in a loud voice, ‘Victory to the struggle’, joining the sweaty oppressed class fighters.
There is no political party. We don’t even have a special party color. We came to the struggle for every human voice crying out for justice…’
Yehali and Sangai gave their comments to Sirasa News First very bravely.
Listen to the speech Sanga made for Araguaia it is actually nice one ! …
That speech of Sanga’s about struggle spread like a virus on social media networks with that headline. Similarly, Roshan Mahanama was like a shadow with Sanga at this time. Roshan did not come because of Sanga. Roshan came to the struggle by his own choice. It is not like going to the government or any other party and getting good name. If Roshan wanted, the same thing Sanga wanted.
‘The struggle is not anyone else’s. All of us. There are no parties to it. No color. So let us all join the struggle together under one flag…’
It is the voice of the famous cricketer former cricket captain Roshan Mahanama. Roshan gave food and drink to the people of the struggle.
What is that for?
Not for anything. Roshan wanted to be a voice for the people who raise their voices for the struggle for our own sense of humanity. There was no ulterior motive of political gain for any other reason.
That is the story of Sangai Mahanama entering the struggle with a pure heart. Let’s leave the story of that struggle aside for now.
This is a story of another struggle similar to the struggle. That is the story worth listening to when Sanga, as a Sri Lankan citizen, boldly spread his voice for our country at the forum of Oxford University. He spoke to young minds. For young blood. At the end of the speech, the applause given to him by the youth forum of Oxford University lasted for several minutes.
Is the speech that great?
It was amazing and had a good texture. But most of Sanga’s story was ‘the pain felt in the chest’.
‘Now is the right time. Everyone gathered together…’
There was such an open invitation in that village. There may have been an implicit invitation to start a struggle against a wrong government.
It is a matter of happiness that there is not even a semblance of a party or color. Because the Sangha did not raise its voice against a political party or its rival. Sanga spoke to the youth. When a country is about to fall into a precipice, Sanga’s brave voice seemed to speak to the young hands, minds and hearts, ‘come together to hold it firmly’.
It’s time for a change. The next five years are crucial for our country. If we do not act during this critical time, this kind of opportunity may not come again. I wouldn’t say that I could make that change on my own. But we saw through the struggle that there is a youth community in this country that we can trust. A good change can be made through some of their activities. We should support them for that. The foundation must be laid. The cricket players who spoke against the wrong governance systems in the past should also unite with this.
Since politics is a very corrupt subject and this cannot be done through a political struggle, we need to talk about how to make this change and how to unite for it. It should be implemented soon. The next few years are the perfect time for that. The youth of the struggle, together with the cricketers, let’s all unite for that…’
That is the word that came from Sanga’s heart or from his chest. The young men and women of the Oxford Forum applauded those words without greed. Sanga prepares for a people’s struggle with a pure heart, without taking politics without political gain.
Sanga Ki struggle will be launched?
Don’t know how to say. But the oppressed are not always patient. When that tolerance explodes, it is not a struggle but a big fire that burns corrupt politicians, but they cannot fail to create it.
Anyway, let’s salute Sanga.
‘ Sanga , you are a great fighter…’
While cheering for Sanga in that manner, there is a completely different story about another famous sportsman of the country. We will tell that story because it is impossible not to tell it.
He is Mahela Jayawardene. Mahela’s salary as a cricket consultant is 60 lakh rupees. These days, the boys who learned cricket from Mahela have come to New Zealand and receiving a beating. All social networks and various media have started attacking Mahela . The reason for the blame was that Mahela did not care about the boys taking a beating in cricket.
Mahela should have gone there!
However busy he is in the technically advanced world Mahela should have considered to give at least a morale boosting chat to his boys.
Why is he doing this? Or is it a passing of the ball that says ‘I am not responsible’? However, cricketrs are lost without Guru’s motivation. In any case, it goes without saying that it is not right for Mahela to do so; without any political advantage Sanga engage in struggle for the country.
By Damayanthi Renuka Fernando