So as you know I love the game of cricket, in my ageing mind I’m remembering facts like how I scored more runs and took more wickets during my sporting career. Who knows, by the time I’m 60 I might have even scored a Century for England at Lords, just they spelt my name wrong on the honours board in the changing room…!
Well the Charity Oars and I found ourselves back at the County Ground (Northampton) today’s opposition were Surrey. The wonderful Catherine Woolley made us welcome and we even managed to grab a quick chat with recent England 1 Day squad player David Willey, more opportunities he hopes will come his way. We’re pretty sure they will.
So who were we there to meet you may wonder? Well he’s a Sri Lankan Test cricketer, a former one-day and T20 player, and former captain of the Sri Lankan national team. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time.
Well we were there to meet the amazingly talented, skilful, professional, respected and loved Kumar Sangakkara. So we stood casually by the players stairs, again, it’s amazing the attention that an 8 foot wooden oar makes at a cricket match.
On the plus side, I had spoken to Church (the media chap at Surrey CCC) so the fact that there was a 6 foot chap with an 8 foot wooden oar at a cricket match shouldn’t have been too odd..!
Then up walked the man himself, a polite smile and a warm handshake. I was then about to ask Kumar Sangakkara, one of the finest batsmen of all time, someone who with 11 double centuries, is second in the list of Test double century-makers, behind only Donald Bradman, and is also the first cricketer ever to score 150+ scores in four consecutive Test matches. Likewise, he is the only batsman in history to score four consecutive centuries in ODI matches. Highest score of 319, over 12000 runs, In terms of number of innings required, Sangakkara is the fastest batsman to reach 8,000, 9,000, 11,000 and 12,000 runs in Test cricket, so it could be said that the only thing still to achieve was to meet and sign the Charity Oars…! (Well i like to think so) lol
All I can say is when we chatted, and then when the Charity Oar was in front of him, he was the ultimate professional and so genuine in his interest and willingness to help our campaign. We were able to talk about Thrombosis, DVT’s and Pulmonary Embolisms and what the campaign was all about. I must admit though, despite his kind smiles and comments, I still felt a bit odd about asking such great cricketer to sign an oar…!!
So the cricketing legend and all round gentleman Kumar Sangakkara duly signed the Charity Oars and a card, we shook hands and off he went. It truly was a pleasure to meet such a respected sportsman and to have such a player offer his support for our campaign means a great deal.
So Kumar Sangakkara headed out to bat, he scored yet another Century, signed the Charity Oars, all in all another great day for one of the greatest batsman of all times…!
Thank you Kumar, you are a true gentleman and your support has been wonderful.