Intro : A fantastic ambassador of cricket, Kumar Sangakkara officially ended his career as an international cricketer to blissful applause from fans and well-wishers on August 24
It was a gloomy day for many of the cricket lovers when their favourite Sangakkara who rose to become one of the greatest Sri Lankan Cricketer, took retirement from Test cricket and walked out for the final time from the P Sara Oval Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka. One can imagine his greatness by seeing the countless banners bearing the image of Sangakkara with title ‘Legend Live On # Thank You Sanga’ by Sri Lankans. There are lots of people who do wonders on the field but they don’t do the same off the field. He has done both. In the case of Sangakkara we can say ‘where character defines the cricket’.
One of the greats of Cricket, Sunil Gavaskar said on his retirement, “You have been the big brother in the Sri Lankan dressing room. Fairytale endings are not always possible. You manfully shouldered the burden of expectations all these years. You could not go out on a high but what you have achieved over the last decade would be remembered. You are one of the all-time greats of the game for sure.” We can imagine Sanakkara’s aura by Gavaskar’s statement.
Keeping his character in mind, Captain of Indian Cricket Team Virat Kohli paid rich tribute to Kumar Sangakkara and wrote a touching message for the elegant cricketer. “Dear Kumar, It’s been an absolute pleasure knowing you as a person first and no words can explain your great cricketing achievements. You have inspired so many people and shown them the way. Lucky to have played in the same era as you, Thanks for everything. God bless you and your family and wish you the best in life ahead!”
Sanga is an elegant batsman and a reliable wicketkeeper of Sri Lankan cricket who will always be one of Sri Lanka’s biggest sporting icons. He is Sri Lanka’s highest run-getter in the longest format of cricket. Sangakkara is the most successful left-hander ever in terms of runs and centuries among the ten most prolific Test batsmen of all times. He ranks fifth on the list of run-getters in Tests after Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid with 12,400 runs at an average in excess of 50. He is one of the most aesthetically-pleasing left-handers to have graced the game; Sangakkara amassed 63 centuries and 153 fifties across formats in his 15-year-long career. He is second only to Sir Don Bradman in the list of double centuries in Test Match.
In 2007, Sangakkara became the first player to make scores of 150 or more in four successive Test matches and in February 2014, he became the second player (after Graham Gooch) to score a triple century and a century in the same Test. Nobody can forget his four consecutive hundreds in ODI history during 2015 World Cup.
Of the great batsmen in the modern era (Lara, Sachin, Ponting, etc), he is the only batsman who is retiring when he is still the best batsman in his team.
It will be sad not to see him on the international stage again. Let’s wish him well for his future and hope he continues to play a role in this game.
Nishant Kr Azad