For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Rex Clementine’s report of Kumar Sangakkara’s Cowdrey lecture in The Sunday Island begins with the following:
“For all its charm, tradition and history, Lord’s can be a funny place. If your skin is dark, stewards tend to tell you, ‘Oi! Where do you think you are going?’ But the spellbinding speech of Kumar Sangakkara the other day at Lord’s is sure to turn things around completely. That Monday evening itself, after Sangakkara delivered the Lord Cowdrey Lecture on the Spirit of Cricket, there was a remarkable change in stewards’ attitude. ‘Excuse me sir, can I help you?’ A complete turnaround within an hour!”
Sunil Gavaskar, in the opening remarks of his Cowdrey lecture of 2003, said the following:
“As you can see, I am here – let in by the stewards who over the years have become quite charming. No more does one hear “Oi! Where do you think you are going?” Instead, now we hear “Excuse me, sir, can I help you?” Now this is a tremendous change and the MCC needs to be complimented on the remarkable improvement in the attitude of those manning the various entrances at the ground.”
So it appears the change in stewards’ attitudes occurred rather earlier than the night of Monday, 4th July 2011. I will not comment on the tiresome anti-colonial trope relied upon by both these gentlemen, which has lost its force for quite some time now. Clementine’s unlikely story and blatant plagiarism is only ameliorated by his utter ineptitude and easy discovery – both lectures are on the same web page.
sourse – e mail from AW