There appeared in all English
newspapers several letters on Murali accepting consultancy to train Aussies who are presently in Sri Lanka for a test series. Some are of the view that it is unpatriotic while others praise him. To those who say it is unpatriotic let me say they have misunderstood the word ‘Patriotism’ or the degree to which the meaning should be taken. True, patriotism is love and devotion to one’s country, but shouldn’t there be a difference, and that difference is clearly explained by Tolstoy, ‘Doing one’s civil duty is one thing, but patriotism is a kind of blind arrogance and very dangerous’ [Civil duty includes Sports].
We all know Murali and so are other cricketers, who played or are playing cricket in the national team, had gone to Australia for treatment and also training, which Australia without any bias or reservations had imparted or extended. Is it not one of the reasons, why Murali could have achieved the rare honour of being considered the world record holder in taking the most number of wickets, thus bringing fame to our Motherland Sri Lanka as well?
Shouldn’t Murali by accepting the post of Consultant to the Aussie team be considered as gratitude for reaching that height? In fact, Sri Lanka too should be grateful to Australia for their magnanimous gesture for turning our cricketers to world-class. In addition, surely Murali is being paid in foreign currency for his consultancy and that brings in much needed foreign exchange, which this debt-ridden country woefully needs
Having said that, why should Rozarous single out Murali? The reason I reserve and ask what of Chaminda Vass who trained the English team and presently in England for the same purpose. Then what about other cricketers, who played for Sri Lanka, are now training teams in other countries to face us in tournaments, such as Hathurusinghe?
It is also pertinent to question, why foreigners who have played cricket for their respective countries, engaged to coach our national team. Are they unpatriotic? Should they not impart their experience and knowledge for the well-being of the game and be selfish in the name of Patriotism. I would say it is this Patriotism which has brought conflicts between countries and nations, causing bloodshed, loss of life and limb to millions. To wind up I would wish to quote a poem by Sir Henry Newbolt which appears on the left side.