An outstanding stroke player, a trustworthy keeper, an astute thinker, Kumar Sangakkara has been the cornerstone of Sri Lankan cricket for nearly 15 years. He compiled a colossal 287 in Mahela ‘s company as the duo put on 624 and drained the life out of the South African bowling attack when rewriting First-Class record books for crickets.
The versatility of Sangakkara is the prime reason for success on his side of the new wicketkeeper-batsman generation. His top-notch performances are expressed in the fact that he finished the ICC test rankings in late 2007 and was named in the 2005 ICC World ODI XI and the 2006 World Test Team. Sangakkara was, arguably, instrumental in helping Sri Lanka strike a balance in their 11-play. Bearing in mind the burden of leading the national side after Mahela Jayawardene ‘s resignation, Sangakarra played a pivotal role in giving the Sri Lankan cricket direction.
Part of the new wave of wicket keepers-batsmen, Sangakkara ‘s versatility is the prime reason for his side ‘s success. His high success is reflected in the fact that in late 2007 he finished the ICC test rankings and was included in the 2005 ICC World ODI XI and the 2006 World Test Team. Arguably Sangakkara was instrumental in helping Sri Lanka strike a balance in its 11-play. Given the burden of leading the national side following the resignation of Mahela Jayawardene, Sangakarra played a pivotal role in bringing the direction of cricket to Sri Lanka.
Sangakkara enjoyed a lot of success at the helm, leading Sri Lanka to victories in the Bangladesh tri-series and beating Asian-rivals, India. He also led Sri Lanka into the final of the 2011 World Cup. However, after the agonizing loss in the final, he stepped down from captaincy, realizing the importance of inaugurating Sri Lankan cricket in the new age aside from sharpening his batsmanship. He encouraged Sri Lanka to be a force to be reckoned with in Jaywardene ‘s company, even in overseas conditions.
In Sri Lankan cricket’s Holy Quartet, if Arjuna Ranatunga was the founder, Sanath Jayasurya, the destroyer, Sanga and Mahela are remembered as the protectors. Embarking on a new age, Sangakkara supported his succession into the maker’s shoes when he was at the forefront of Sri Lanka ‘s historic World T20 victory in April 2014 in Bangladesh. His unbeaten fifty shepherded Sri Lanka to the title in a tense final to break the ‘final vodoo’ as they tasted their first major triumph of the World event since 1996. With that title, Aptly, Sangakkara and Mahela bid farewell to T20I cricket.
Sangakkara scored 13,000 runs in ODIs during the England series in Nov-Dec 2014, becoming the fourth player to attain the feat. Sangakkara scored his 11th double ton in a Test against New Zealand on January 4, 2015. Two weeks later, Sangakkara became the third-highest run-scorer in ODIs, surpassing Jayasuriya.
Sangakkara was in supreme form at Australia’s World Cup. Sangakkara questioned the political system of Sri Lankan cricket in an eloquent speech at the MCC Spirit of Cricket Colin Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s in 2011.
Kumar Sangakkara is a complete person in the most real sense of the word.
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