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