Politicians and cricketers as Kadir saw them

An excerpt from an after-dinner speech made by the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar at a function with the Sri Lanka cricketers held in London in September 2004, after their knockout from the tournament:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, let me see whether politics and cricket have anything in common:

-Both are games.

-Politicians and cricketers are superficially similar, and yet very different.

-Both groups are wooed by the cruel public who embrace them today and reject them tomorrow.

-Cricketers work hard; politicians only pretend to do so.

-Cricketers are disciplined; discipline is a word unknown to most politicians in any language.

-Cricketers risk their own limbs in the heat of honourable play, politicians encourage others to risk their limbs in pursuit of fruitless causes.

-While they remain secure in the safety of their pavilions. Cricketers deserve the rewards they get; the people get the politicians they deserve.

-Cricketers retire young; politicians go on for ever.

-Cricketers unite the country; politicians divide it.

-Cricketers accept the umpire’s verdict, even if they disagree with it; politicians who disagree with an umpire usually get him transferred.

-Cricketers stick to their team through victory and defeat, politicians in a losing team cross over and join the winning team.

Clearly, cricketers are the better breed.”

[Courtesy: Lanka Outlook Winter 2005] – Trixie Marthenesz

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