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Sanga’s Swansong


Howzatt! Shouted an assertive Ashwin as he saw the red cherry fly towards the gully,

The final hurrah lasted no more than 29 minutes and the jovial devotees in the stands concluded their cheerful rally;

Life came full ‘circle’ at the P. Sara Oval when tall Lankan flags looked seemingly taller,

Bats held aloft by teenagers and nod from the rivals served as guards of honour for Kandy’s finest cricketing sailor;

18 runs off 18 balls were all that were in store for the happy, hopeful fans,

His bat, before it muted, produced 3 weeping boundaries- a flick, a cover drive and an elegant leg glance;

The coral tempered Kohli heaved a huge sigh, an apparent sigh of relief,

Sanga’s extended stay at the crease would have strengthened Mathews’ belief;

413 is the target, set by the visitors from the north of the Indian Ocean,

At 8-1 arrived the 37 year old Messiah, with his typical cricketing devotion;

The stage was set and so was the man to compose an innings of sheer classiness,

The pre conceived comedy turned into a tragedy owing to an unusual restlessness;

For Arthur Morris was the man at the other end when the chosen one failed to score at the Oval 67 years back,

If Sanga was destined to be the King on Sunday evening, Karunaratne failed to be the Jack;

Disdainfully, the ‘wicked’ Indian spinners spun magic on the ‘mourning’ Day 4 surface,

Defying the odds and battling the conditions, the left hander was scoring at a brisk pace;

Why Cricketing Gods, why? I demand an answer for your awfully ghastly act,

You were a deity of romanticism I believed, a belief which over the course of time has turned into a fact;

A man taking to the lush field for the finale of his career would look to compose a knock of heroic stature on his day,

Poor calling from partner Karunaratneand the inability to rotate the strike led to a cataleptic fray;

The near houseful crowd would have turned mum much earlier if their Messiah had responded to a ‘no run’,

While Karunaratne, the sinister was having a grin at the other end, Sanga was in no mood to have fun;

Enough! Let’s turn the clock and go down the memory lane before our eyes turn moist,

The candid servant’s service for 15 years has been the Emerald Isle’s greatest hoist;

Hail before Kshema and Kumari for gifting the cricketing world with this priceless gem,

A far sighted father in Kshema knew his son’s credentials would help him chisel his way to fame;

‘’How accurate was he!’’ exclaim admirers after having witnessed his protégé’s exploits for over a decade and a half,

The road to glory was a rugged one, full of pebbles and bumpers, as it was grim even to puff;

Perfection was the ingredient of highest priority for Mr.Sangakkara during a phase of guns and grenades,

Perhaps, the backdrop and surroundings of the hilly Kandian zone have helped Kumar compose such beautiful batting ballads;

Tennis ball throw-downs and endless weekends of shadow batting had become part and parcel of little Kumar’s life,

Although it was a burden on the tender shoulders, the intention was to make him sharper than the edge of a knife;

Things looked promising but the product was yet to take a proper shape,

If the raw talent in him was the uncovered box, Roy Dias’s watchful inspection was the much required tape;

Kumar’s growth from boyhood to adulthood was full of exciting events,

Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara

‘’He used to send me 4-5 love letters everyday’’, his wife and most trusted batting partner, Yehali comments;

Yes my friend, the romantic on the pitch was a Romeo during the Trinity college days,

Pink Letters boasting of English poetry and loving lyrics had grabbed the mistress’s observance;

The boy was a phenomenon, and could melt hearts as easily as he plays his eloquent strokes,

He would play the violin, do plenty of mischief and entertain his friends by cracking comical jokes;

Belonging to a family of gifted individuals, he inherits a trait called success in his gene,

If he was a budding talent in cricket, equally talented were his kin;

The youngest member of theSangakkara family is multitalented, holding distinctions in swimming, badminton and tennis,

Fair enough, the game of willow is the one that has given him unparalleled bliss;

After years of perseverance and hard work, the long awaited moment arrived in 2002 in the form of a Test series,

Against South Africa it was, and the occasion naturally spiked up his ecstasies;

He opened his account with 23 runs after having kept the wickets,

23 runs were just the opening balance, as he was destined to earn several more accolades;

The Sri Lankan No.11 jersey found its highly anticipated owner when Kumar made his ODI debut,

This time, the opponent was Pakistan and he commenced his limited overs career with a dazzling hue;

35 runs in the first match and 85 in the second showered in ample compliments,

Those were the first few drops of the ocean worth 14,234 ODI runs- a tally which every record book recommends;

The beginning though was rather dull as he averaged 28.68 in ODIs once upon a time,

History is past, History is vast, and History seems meaningless when you see Sanga in his prime;

His love affair with the white uniform has always been a sonata to envy,

When he goes past 50 with the 84th Lankan cap on his head, would you want to switch off the TV?

Only a fool would dare to do that, if he is unaware of the ‘Messiah’s’ batting prowess,

He scores his runs consistently, scores them big and makes rapid, unimaginable progress;

That said, Kumar too can be called a nincompoop,

Why doesn’t he grasp the limelight? Why does he always stoop?

Record books will testify to the 678 dismissals he has effected collectively in ODIs and Tests matches,

They will not show us how they have come- 139 stumpings and 539 catches!

Straight drives, pulls and step outs are indispensable part of Sanga’s game,

If these strokes are pleasing to the eye, the bent knee cover drive has earned him real name;

Kumar’s contribution in Lankan cricket is immense as is evident from his side’s track record at the international level,

He wouldn’t have been the Kumar he is today without Mahela, Sanath, Dilshan and Murali’s gale;

What Watson was to Holmes, Mahela is to his best friend,

Their epic partnerships will be missed- especially the one worth 624 runs, which seemed to have no end;

Fastest to every thousand run mark since 8000 runs is a record he can boast of proudly,

Despite these accomplishments, he doesn’t have a World Cup in his trophy cabinet, a trophy he has longed for badly;

It was he, whose famous speech at the MCC Spirit of Cricket won millions of people the world over,

Unaffected by the countless praises heapedon him, he continues to be sober;

Second highest run scorer in ODIs and the 5th in Tests he is- people will forever recollect his class,

If the cover drives were effusive brush strokes, the lush green cricket field was his canvas;

Enough has been said about the legend of Kumar, no more hasty retreat do I want to extract from your hearts,

When he was departing towards the P. Sara Pavilion on Sunday, he saddened the souls of innumerable bards.

There was Percy, there were children, and there was the set-up, eagerly waiting to see his 12th Test double ton,

Although Sir Don’s record is untouched, the Lankan faces had turned astonishingly dun;

If Eric Hollies is best remembered as the Satan, who tempted Sir Don to get deceived in his final abode,

The same can be said about a certain Ashwin, who has unfavourably broken the rod;

Sanga has a singular place in our hearts, let’s us not compare him with a certain Marathi or New South Welshman,

He was and will always remain Sri Lanka’s most proficient talisman;

No epic this is, but Cric Fit’s tribute to the gentleman of all gentlemen in the form of a rhyme,This is an ode coming straight from the heart; we thank you for having spared your time;

28,016 runs, 63 tons and 153 fifties in international cricket is a record that is unlikely to be up for grabs,

Basu’s homage this is to the ablest of all warriors; besides expecting a sumptuous treat at the ‘Ministry of Crabs’!

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