Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene turn entrepreneurs

Kumar Sangakkara (L) and Mahela Jayawardene AFP

By Kushan Sarkar

Colombo: Sep 26, 2012

Theirs has been a successful on-field partnership as captain and deputy, and Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara‘s rock-solid bonding has helped them become successful business partners, too.

The Sri Lankan skipper and his deputy have jointly invested along with the country’s most well-known Master Chef, Darshan Munidasa, to run a restaurant called ‘Ministry of Crabs’, which serves the most mouth-watering preparations of lagoon crabs ? supposed to be best in the world.

“I run a chain of Japanese restaurants known as ‘Nihonbashi’ in Colombo and both Kumar and Mahela were regular visitors there. I always wanted to have restaurant where we can serve the exotic crabs as best quality lagoon crabs used to get exported to Singapore.

“Since both Mahela and Kumar are connoisseurs of good food, we became friends. When this project was discussed, both readily agreed to invest,” Darshan, the man who looks after the day-to-day affairs told PTI during an interaction.

“Since both cricketers are busy, I am not able to have board meeting. Three of us are one-third partners in this venture. It’s opened for nine months now and is doing really well,” the co-owner informed.

In fact, Darshan had a funny anecdote to tell about how they decided on who will be the chairman of this project.

“Thank God, neither Mahela nor Kumar was the captain at that time. It was Dilshan, who used to lead so we decided to have toss between the two. Mahela won the toss and became the chairman. Both however call me up and take updates about how the project is doing,” he laughed.

The unique feature of the restaurant is that the price is based on weight of crabs and not the preparation.

If one wishes to have 500gms of crab — any preparation from Chilly Crab, Curry Crab to Pepper Crabs will be served for Rs 2500 (Sri Lankan). It starts from Rs 2500 and can go upto above Rs 9000 if one wishes to have more than one and half kilograms.

“Your captain Dhoni and Kohli had their lunch at my Japanese restaurant the other day. Rohit Sharma came here to have lunch. During the last ODI series between India and Sri Lanka, Mahela brought Virender Sehwag along with him and I saw a lot of Indian families trying to click his pictures.

“I don’t allow that in my restaurant. If I see any of staff clicking pictures with celebrities or intruding in their private space, I fire them,” he informed.

He recollected another incident when Thissara Perera was having dinner after taking a hat-trick against India.

“My staff told me that Thissara comes often to have food. I called up Kumar and Mahela asked both of them that what should I do about the bill? Both told me to charge him. When Thisara asked for the bill, I told him that take another hat-trick and we will against serve you for free.”

Was it difficult roping in both of them for the same project, he answered, “I believe that’s a very Indian question. My friends in India often ask me how difficult it was and I tell them it was the easiest of my jobs.”

Is there a chance of opening a branch in India, Darshan sounded quite positive.

“I am having discussions regarding having a franchise outlet in Delhi. More so because Mahela plays for the Daredevils in IPL and has a connect with the city,” the Master Chef signed off as he got ready to host Kevin Pietersen for lunch and Sunil Gavaskar for dinner. (PTI)

Video – Preview: Sri Lanka vs New Zealand