For all his world records, and his popularity with Sri Lankans and cricket fans around the world, Sanath Jayasuriya is an ass – at least, according to insiders at Sri Lanka Cricket. He has been playing for far too long and is well past his sell-by date, but he just refuses to go away. When he was dropped from the team in 2006, President Mahinda Rajapaksa personally intervened to get him back on the team.
Quite apart from the precedent this set, its impact on team morale and the demotivation of other up-and-coming players, what exactly does a politician know about international cricket anyway? That was the question in 2006.
Four years on, the question is reversed: what exactly does an international cricketer know about politics? And why, in the name of the Great Khan, does Jayasuriya want to get into this mudslinging match? It seems obvious that this is an arrangment of mutual back-scratching, whereby Jayasuriya gets to retain his position in the side in return for his free ‘sponsorship’ of the ruling party. At this rate, he seems on course to set another world record; this time, for the oldest person ever to play international cricket.