Why don’t we just pretend that Sanath Jayasuriya the cricketer was a completely different human being?

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Sanath Jayasuriya (CC licensed by Christopher Jansz via Wikimedia)

At some point way back in the mists of time, we started calling Sanath Jayasuriya ‘Benevolent Uncle Sanath’ – partly because he looks like a benevolent uncle and partly because he is called Sanath.

Sanath Jayasuriya was an excellent cricketer. His joyous ‘ha haaa’ scythe over the offside infield is one of the all-time great signature shots and the 323 wickets he picked up with his non-spinning whanged dobblage constitute one of the all-time great one-day international overachievements.

However, his batting tipped you off that appearances could be deceptive and a few years later, he revealed himself to be not at all benevolent but in fact an incurable wrong ‘un (not in the cricket sense) by turning to politics.

After a somewhat belated retirement from international cricket, he transmogrified into the archetypal Sri Lanka cricket bureaucrat, combining a role as chairman of selectors with being member of parliament. As a selector, he made a bunch of weird decisions because that’s what being a Sri Lanka selector is all about.

Now, like Frank Spencer, he’s in a little bit of trouble. Sanath says he’s always conducted himself with “integrity and transparency” while the ICC says he’s failed or refused to cooperate with an anti-corruption investigation and that he’s also obstructed or delayed it.

No matter how this plays out, we’re going to implement the wilful delusion strategy to insulate ourself from any possible future bad news. We now believe that despite the timeline above, Sanath Jayasuriya the cricketer was an entirely different human being from Sanath Jayasuriya the selector and politician and our memories therefore cannot be sullied.


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  1. That is such a good idea, separating the memory of the player from the memory of their subsequent stuff.

    I wonder if that works as a general principle.

    Let me separate in my mind, for example, Matthew Hayden the bollocks-talking player from Matthew Hayden the bollocks-talking commentat…

    …no, it doesn’t work as a universal principle.

    Still, a very good idea re Sanath Jayasuriya and possibly some others.

    1. Shane Warne the cricket genius and Shane Warne the off-pitch idiot.

      Unfortunately it’s all too easy to see how off-pitch Warne influenced quite a lot of on-pitch Warne.

      1. What you mean to say is “The cricketer was a top bloke if anyone remembers him #topbloke #cricketer #memory”.

      2. Well that’s how the other Michael Vaughan would phrase it so that would be very confusing.

  2. I shall, unfortunately, never be able to divorce the name “Labuschagne” from the mental image that emerged when I first read that name: the notion of a cheap and awful Italian red wine produced in a supposedly champagne style, in a vain attempt to take Lambrusco or similar up-market.

    Nothing can Marnus Labuschagne do, on or off the field, during or after his cricket career, to distance himself from the idea of a mediocre beverage.

    Shame really – it isn’t Labuschagne’s fault at all.

    1. Mass murder? That’s gotta come close. Although even that would probably be overshadowed by the post-career antics of some of his countrymen.

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