Veteran Sri Lankan wicket-keeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara is set to bid adieu to international cricket “by the end of August” when the island nation hosts India in a three-match Test series.
Sangakkara, 37, who will play his final ODI at the ongoing World Cup, quit the shortest format of the game after winning the World T20 last year.
“There are Test matches in June and July, and I will be done by the end of August. A series or two in June and in August, and that’s it,” Sangakkara told a leading cricket website.
After two low scores, Sangakkara scripted his name in the record books by becoming the first cricketer to hit three consecutive centuries in the World Cup, including the ton against Australia today in a losing cause.
And the former Sri Lanka skipper said it was important for both him and the team to build momentum in the tournament.
“I don’t know whether I am top of my game, I just bat according to situations. During the (preceding) New Zealand tour, it was the same thing, I didn’t have a good start in the first ODI but from the second it was just a case of building on runs,” he said.
“(For the team) it has gone pretty well up to now. Again a slow start, a bit shaky against Afghanistan, but pretty good in the last two games. It’s just a case of trying to ensure that we put up a good performance every time we go out and keep on improving,” said Sangakkara, a member of the Sri Lankan team for the past three World Cups.
Apart from Sangakkara, the World Cup will also be another former skipper Mahela Jayawardene’s last international assignment, and the duo’s departure is set to leave a giant hole in Sri Lanka’s batting department.
“It’s a bit archaic to think that senior players only have so much to give. You play your best cricket for your country and do the best for your side and sometimes young players don’t need as much help as people think they do. They need a little bit of freedom, a bit of love, a bit of care, and they’ll perform very well,” Sangakkara said about Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal, who are expected to fill in their shoes.