Sri Lankan batting great Kumar Sangakkara is a man who rarely gets riled up, except perhaps when younger players don’t live up to the kind of exceptional standards he has set over an illustrious career.
So it took his legions of fans around the world by surprise on Sunday when the 37-year-old southpaw took to social media site Twitter to express his displeasure at the treatment meted out to him by a UK immigration officer at Heathrow.
Sangakkara, one of the finest batsmen of his generation and who is currently enjoying a superb season for county side Surrey, Tweeted in characteristically eloquent fashion: “Back in London last night. Had a horrendous experience with a rude, patronising and extremely discourteous UK immigration officer”.
“I understand the need for vigilance completely but common courtesy and manners is not too much to ask for,” he added.
Sangakkara had reportedly travelled back to Sri Lanka in-between county matches for a personal engagement. He has been on tours to the UK for the past fifteen years.
He continued: “No matter colour, religion or fame every well intentioned traveller deserves courtesy. Luckily for me it was one person and just this once”.
A hugely popular figure on and off the field, Sangakkara was honoured with the ‘Outstanding Achievement in Sports’ award at the recent Asian Awards night in London and apparently the remainder of the immigration staff had an inclination of the man.
Sangakkara’s last message over the incident reads: “Luckily the rest of the UK immigration officers were lovely. Coming to the UK for 15 years and first time I have encountered this”.