Tag Archives: kumar sangakkara

cricket’s greatest bromance – kumar and mahela

A man turns to his mates, clenching his fists and showing his guns in the successful warrior pose. His mate runs up and jumps on him, half hugging, half choking as he climbs up his back. Then the successful warrior walks towards his group of friends to acknowledge their existence. His mate stands behind him behaving erratically and smiling uncontrollably.

Kumar Sangakkara has made a Test century. Mahela Jayawardene is happy for him.

The ball is full and perhaps hinting at moving away. Jayawardene lazily moves into position and wafts at the ball. It is almost the perfect get out shot, except he is so inept he misses the ball. His foot isn’t planted until Matt Prior is about to collect the ball. For a second, Jayawardene loses his grace, the way he makes the ball look slower than it actually is, and goes into dreamland looking for the easy drive. Mahela looks up at Kumar and laughs, Kumar smiles back.

On the balcony at Sugar bar in Colombo, nursing an arrack and coke with a friend, we realised that behind us were Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. My friend knew them, and whispered to me, “Mahela will come over, and be excited to see me here. Kumar will wave from a distance. You have to earn it a bit more with him.”

Two minutes later Mahela came over and was excited to see his friend. Twenty minutes later, Kumar waved through the crowd.

The field is set for a leg-theory examination of Jayawardene. He pulls the first one away without much thought for the field at all. It’s easy and natural, like he’s playing against a kid, not a fired up new era English bowler trying to prove himself. He looks right at home.

Sangakkara faces the same short-bowling leg set-up. A short ball is fired in at him and takes him on the body as he tries to pull. He walks away and rubs himself. He looks angry rather than in pain. The next ball is just as fast, and just as well aimed, this time Sangakkara pulls it away off the middle of the bat between the two fielders set to stop it.

Sangakkara has been in the country for longer than his team. Playing in Durham, acclimatising, working on his game, doing what he has done since a child. Improving and working. He wasn’t the high school superstar Jayawardene was. Sangakkara is what he is as much because of how hard he works, how much he wants it as much as how well he times it. He probably dreams of throw downs and plans for planning.

His place in cricket history is pretty much assured, but England is somewhere that travelling cricketers want to really conquer. Lord’s even more so. And that is what this innings was about. Helping his team is a given, but helping his team at the place they call the “home of cricket”, that’s something else. Especially at a place he is largely revered for speaking at, after his MCC Spirit of Cricket lecture in 2011. Many people have been eloquent at Lord’s, fewer have added 147 in a Test and stencilled their way into history as well.

Sangakkara has placed the ball perfectly to short fine leg and wants three, he charges up and down the wicket. But Jayawardene turns down the third. Sangakkara holds his hands up and asks why? Mahela points to his knee. Kumar shakes his head in disappointment.

Take out the cricket and replace it with a common household chore and it’s almost every argument you see between couples the world over.

Mark Waugh was born playing an effortless flick to backward square leg. Steve Waugh had to wait until he could walk before he first dropped the ball on the leg side and stole a single. Their styles of play complemented each other perfectly. One was hard and smart, the other pretty and effortless. One statistically superior, the other naturally better.

Despite sharing a womb, house and many changerooms, you’d be hard pressed to say they are closer than Kumar and Mahela.

At a sponsor event, Sangakkara was asked to look like he was dressing Jayawardene, for the sort of standard embarrassing athlete photo opportunity. What was already awkward enough was made more so by the fact that people already question how close they are. If cricket had an erotic fiction genre, Kumar and Mahela would have many chapters together.

Sri Lanka is already awash with them as a pair. Want to be as happy as Kumar and Mahela are, drink a Coke and share in their good times. Want to look as smart as they do, get some Emerald suits and you too can look this sharp. Want a great-tasting crab meal, eat at the Mahela and Kumar’s restaurant, the Ministry of Crab, and wear the same bibs they wear.

After taking a break from playing drives so good they make you feel like you’ve just stroked an angora rabbit wearing a velvet glove, Jayawardene batted for lunch. England decided to try one more time at banging away with Plunkett around the wicket. This time Jayawardene was in lunch mode and he just didn’t look right. One sprung up at him, another jagged back, and just for a second he looked rattled. Like the game had been sped up to the pace everyone else had to play it at.

Sangakkara wandered down the wicket slowly, had a quick word, and wandered back. Jayawardene played the next two balls like they were throw downs in the nets. Sangakkara waited for him at the non-striker’s end, then they walked off together.

The cricket public perception of the two is often quite clear. Jayawardene is seen as the cherub-faced batting wizard, often smiling and happy to be doing what he does. Sangakkara is seen as a modern-day cricket intellectual of impeccable morals who will one day be the spirit of cricket’s professor emeritus.

It’s not really true; Jayawardene can get as angry as Ricky Ponting on a bad day. And it’s quick, Hulk quick, often reacting with anger before he has even fully grasped what has happened. The cherub face is replaced with this snarling beast. Yelling is done, handshakes are ignored, and he lets everyone in the area know exactly how he feels.

Sangakkara is so smart and eloquent that he has managed to cultivate a statesman role when, in truth, he is a hard-ass, son-of-a-bitch cricketer who would be just as likely to psychologically destroy you as talk about the great cultural mix in world cricket. Recently he tricked Ahmed Shehzad into thinking a throw was coming in so he could make Shehzad dive to save himself. In actual fact the throw was miles away. Shehzad hurt himself, Sangakkara laughed. His sledging of Shaun Pollock at the 2003 World Cup is still one of the greatest monologues recorded from a pitch. And perhaps even better than his spirit of cricket lecture.

The cherub-and-gentleman vibe is nowhere near accurate and actually sells them short of what they really are: fierce, determined, passionate cricketers who want to win.

The next over after Kumar’s hundred, Mahela brings up his fifty. They meet mid-pitch and give each other an emotional soul-brother handshake.

Mahela Jayawardene has made a Test half-century. Kumar Sangakkara is happy for him.

Advertisements
Tagged , ,

Sri Lanka pictorial

I went to Sri Lanka, and I took a camera.

I couldn’t possibly show you every photo that was cricket related, but these are my favourites, they’re unedited, because I can’t be bothered.

Every night Mahela and I drink coke together, you could be this happy if you drink coke. Look how happy we are.  Really happy.

Hey man, what’s happening, yeah, coke man, i love it, I’m so fucking high right now, I know you can’t tell, cause I pull it off well, but really I am high.  But I look normal, don’t i.  I’m not, I’m high. Let’s go to white castle.

Not enough countries have cricket graffiti. This is a win for Sri Lanka.

A rare photo of Saddam Hussein and Murali.

Dude, buy coke for your family.  Sugar and caffeine rock.

A free book for the person to correctly name these 4 New Zealand cricketers.  Yes that is a trick question, no one can correctly name kiwi cricketers. Nathan McCullum is on the left, ladies.

Look at these dudes working and sitting on trucks while a cool photo of Malinga is in front of them.

I saw these guys at Dambulla.  I hope they all fail. Lazy bastards.

I also have more photos of Dambulla, but this is enough for one day, surely.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

balls profile: kumar sangakkara

Being that it is hard to combine his life as a cricketer with that of being a trainee Lawyer, he often takes out his work to the middle and leaves it with the umpire.  While at the non-strikers end he can often be seen looking over a contract or engaged in research for some litigation.  His batting is like being in a bath full of butter.  He is the king.  His captaincy is a bit more like leaving the butter out on a hot day and forgetting about it.  One day he will be so famous the world over that you will be able to get post cards that just have a close up picture of him and the words ‘Kumar Sangakkara – Sri Lanka’.

Tagged , , ,

Welcome to Sri Lanka

Many countries have pictures of their head of states in the airport.

It’s pretty fucken useless, no one cares, and it makes the leader look like a dodgy dictator.

At Colombo airport they might do that, but I didn’t see it.

What I saw was much better.

As you come through immigration, the king.

Much better than a picture of some politician.

Tagged ,

The CWB football team

I’ve decided to pick a team of football from what cricket has to offer.  It wouldn’t win the world cup, but I think I’d enjoy watching them play.

Striker

Sachin– sure he is not gifted with the most athletic frame, but like a non mental Diego Maradonna more than makes up with it with the ability to score at will and carry a team.  Has had some pretty handy world cups already.

Striker

Pollard – big strong and has great club form, picked for his ability to turn only a few opportunities into goals.  People worry that he has never done anything at international level to justify his millionaire status.  He doesn’t seem to mind.  Probably not adverse to the odd dive and handy with headers.

Left Midfield

Sulieman Benn – Occasional brilliance is often overshadowed by talk of his height and temper.  Only player to be sent off by his own captain after a bad tackle and bad attitude.  It is never clear if he ever tries to actually hit the ball in a tackle.

Centre Midfield

Ponting– Scores more than most, but is still a very heavy handed defender.  Is quick, plays well of both feet, is a winner, but can lose his temper at times. Has won at the top level a few times before. Doesn’t like being substituted.

Centre Midfield

Mark Boucher – A tough team player.  Like a rugged family sedan, once you have him there you’d know that spot was well taken care of.  Yet you’d still drop him from time to time to see if you have someone younger or flashier.  He might misread how much injury time is left in big games.

Right Midfield

Paul Collingwood – Often thought of as nothing more than a defender who plays midfield, yet he can score on occasions and is always important at the end of matches.  Only has a right foot, and this often makes his ungainly style look even uglier than it would normally.

Left Back

Ray Price – Hard as nails, ready to hack you just for fun, always slower than the men he is defending.  No one ever gets past him with the ball and their shins.

Centre Back

Charl Langeveldt – Steady, consistent, easily droppable, and dependable.  He will have been in and out of the team for years.  The sort of defender that gets no headlines but does the job when you can’t find anyone better.

Centre Back

Kumar – Silky smooth defender that makes the opposition strikers feel ungainly in comparison.  Always takes a piece of the ball, is the captain, penalty taker, and pin up boy of the team.  Also the most likely to put off the opposition when they’re taking a penalty.

Right Back

Harbhajan Singh – An attacking insane defender who loves to take free kicks from 40 yards believing that he can score a goal.  Mostly he’ll miss by a mile, but every now and then he’ll score.  Will also be red carded for the occasional slap.

Keeper

Rahul Dravid – Nothing gets past Rahul.  Sure there are times he is less animated than an East German goal keeper, but would you ever back yourself to get through him?

Manager

Jamie Siddons – All the best managers have trouble keeping their emotions in check, Siddonds fits  this well.  With him in full view of the cameras you can really see the veins almost explode in his head as the other team score.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

The apocalpyse

This was originally on cricinfo, but, even without swearing and perversions, I really liked it. for some reason I forgot to put it up before.

If the apocalypse were to come tomorrow, most of us would be dead. But if Hollywood has taught us anything it is that people always survive. While Kallis, Ponting and Dhoni wouldn’t make it, there would be cricketers who would. And it isn’t always the most popular or talented who survive the end times.

Nathan Hauritz cannot be killed by bombs or global pandemics. This is a man who couldn’t get picked for his state side, averaged over 50 with the ball in first-class cricket, and now averages 30 in Test cricket. There are no weapons that can keep him down. After the apocalypse he would just roam the earth with that sweet little boyish face of his.

Ashish Nehra went through a career apocalypse, but he is back. I wouldn’t bet on him struggling to survive a worldwide nuclear war. He’d still have that look on his face too, the one that makes you wonder if he has any joy in his life. He’d be in a group that lives in Euro Disney; his role would be of the angry one who doesn’t trust anyone, but he’d be rubbish at catching food.

Kumar Sangakkara would make it through. Then, after an appropriate period, he would take over the world. Artists would carve images of him, people would refer to him as King Kumar, and he would be a fair and just leader. His leadership does have problems, but his suaveness and massive intellect mean he would run the world for at least six years. Until he wants to relax and travel.

Ian Bell can never be killed. Regardless of an apocalypse he is going to be around forever. Still looking good and not making runs. In a dystopian wasteland he’d still manage to find his way into a well-stocked mansion, with others doing the work to make up for him. Even when the whole group dies of food poisoning, Bell survives. He is like a mythical creature that way.

Brendan Nash would not only survive an apocalypse, he’d prosper. Once the world had settled, Nash would move to a new location and just tell them he was always one of them. There would be hostility towards him at first, and mild curiosity, but eventually in this new and desperate land he would come in handy and people would even start to love having him around.

Paul Harris would survive. He might mutate a bit, but like a cockroach or a tax officer he cannot be eradicated. Harris will quickly improvise and become an expert scavenger and sell his goods at a reasonable price, considering the location he lives in.

The New Zealand cricket team would remain okay. They would be watching Eagle v Shark in Chris Martin’s basement when the flesh-eating disease spreads rapidly across the planet, killing everyone. Upon exiting the basement they would have some good times and some bad times, but basically they’d just survive. Even though 90% of the world’s population is dead, their crowd numbers in Test matches stay the same.

Rahul Dravid would never even notice the apocalypse. When the aliens came to kill everyone on the planet with their sonic weapons, he was batting. As we know, when Rahul is batting, nothing can stir him. Even two years after the apocalypse he is still out there, marking his guard, trying to get the sight screen to be moved and planning for what field the captain will set for the next ball.

Buy the book, get a t-shirt, or donate to the whisky fund.

We would also accept some tasteful garden furniture.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Sehwagology celebrates this day

To me this is a pretty special day.

The first day I am a printed published author.

Obviously some very special men thought it was a special day as well.

To celebrate this event the GOD Sehwag hit 146 off 102 balls.

Considering our prophet never hardly ever makes runs in one dayers, it is quite clear that he did this in support of me, his loudest cleric.

But it didn’t stop there, is padawan learner Dilshan also stepped in and 160 off 124 came.

That would have been enough.

Two sehwagologists slaying bowlers on this demon of a pitch to celebrate my book.

There was one more surprise though, one more player had something to say.

And not just any player, but the King, King Kumar.

Not a sehwagologist, but a man so cool that watching him bat is like drinking lemonade on a hot day.

He came out and put the cherry on top of the cherries with 90 off 43.

Wow.

I am stunned guys.

I don’t know what to say.

Thank you all very much.

Praise Sehwagology.

And as an extra special miracle the book is now available on flipkart. Sort of.

Tagged , , ,

Ravi the third?

I saw Rav the Chavs hundred.

It showed many things that the other English aspiring number 3s don’t have.

There were no physical deformities like Owais Shah.

No complete throwing away of a solid platform Ian Bell style.

He missed no straight ones like the artist Michael Vaughan.

And he was actually playing test cricket unlike Robert Key.

In the short term, that should be enough, he will play one more test against the Windies, and has at least two guaranteed against the Aussies unless he has some sort of breakdown.

But is he a test number 3?

There aren’t many around, New Zealand are trying their junk yard dog Flynn, Amla looks the part at times, Sarwan seems to be made to bat at 3 but can’t always be assed to do so and Younis Khan did ok for South Australia.

The three blue chip players are Ricky, King Kumar, and Rahul.

They all have things in common like aura, ego, tight techniques and freakish batting skills and fierce determination.

Rahul Dravid will block for hours at a time just to protect his wicket.

Kumar has a real hatred of going out, up there with Glenn McGrath’s.

And Ponting just hates to lose.

It is too early for Ravi to put a stamp on the position like these men, and while he might not be in their league on pure batting skill, on determination to succeed he must be almost on a par and he doesn’t suffer from a low ego.

At this stage he looks like the most likely candidate, doesn’t mean he’ll succeed.

If he does fail. wont be for lack of trying.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

King Kumar speaks to a blogger

Damith has an interview up with the king.

You should go over there immediately.

All hail the king baby.

Tagged , ,