Former Sri Lankan cricketers, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have delivered more than expected for Sri Lanka and world cricket. For this very reason, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) has decided to pay a tribute to them.
A few international cricketers have got the chance to see their portraits hanging on the walls of the Lord’s Cricket Ground. But Sangakkara and Jayawardene have earned the respect for the enormous contribution they made.
MCC has made an announcement that the portraits of the legendary Sri Lankan cricketers will be unveiled on Friday. The cherry on the cake is that Sangakkara will get an invaluable opportunity of walking past his own portrait when he will come out to bat in County Championship match. On the first day of the County Championship match between Middlesex and Surrey, the portraits will go on display in Lord’s Pavilion.
Describing his excitement after hearing MCC’s announcement, Sangakkara said, “I was humbled when I was asked to sit for the portrait commissioned by MCC. I wanted to know how I would be represented through Antony’s eyes; not just my expressions or my physical appearance but how he would interpret me as a whole. Having seen the final portrait, I was so very pleasantly surprised, unnerved and a bit embarrassed seeing myself in a frame on canvas but thoroughly happy with the work done.”
Currently, Mahela is performing his duties as the head coach of Indian Premier League (IPL) team Mumbai Indians. But he will also get his chance to walk past his own portrait when he plays for Lancashire in England’s domestic T20 competition. Their portraits will hang together with those of legends of the game like Sir Vivian Richards, Shane Warne, and Glenn McGrath.
MCC Curator of Collections Alan Chadwick also shared his happiness to have the portraits of the two greats in Lord’s pavilion. “MCC regularly commissions portraits of players who have captivated a generation of cricket fans in all forms of the game, all around the world, and both Kumar and Mahela fit the bill perfectly. I am delighted with these additions to the MCC Collection and am sure that they will be enjoyed by visitors to Lord’s for years to come.”