'Sanga' as he is known to his team-mates, is one of cricket's most endearing personalities both on and off the field and Sri Lankan Cricket would be pleased to have nurtured him into one of the best cricketers of the nation. As a batsman, Sangakkara is a connoisseur's delight. He is a good player of both fast and spin bowling and is known to revel in arduous situations. Sanga has amazing levels of concentration and is known to score big once he reaches a hundred. With the experience of playing under several captains during his career, he has displayed great maturity while leading his side and is known to back youngsters to the hilt. His multilingual abilities also make him a hit in the diverse Sri Lankan dressing room.
Kumar Sangakkara got underway purely as a batsman but subsequently started keeping wickets as well. He made his domestic debut for Nondescripts at the age of 20 and was a consistent performer in the domestic circuit. As a youngster, Sangakkara was gifted with exemplary temperament and was highly rated for his elegant batting. He first came into limelight when he scored a brilliant 156* for Sri Lanka A against Zimbabwe A in a List A match in 2000 and that paved the way for his selection in the national side as he was handed his ODI debut for Sri Lanka in 2000 against Pakistan in a triangular tournament which involved South Africa. He straightaway shone in just his second match as he scored 85 and was named the Man of the Match. A brilliant debut series saw him average 66.33 and end up with seven dismissals with the gloves.
His performances were rewarded with a Test call-up against South Africa, a series in which he performed admirably behind the stumps. After a couple of
nervous nineties, he finally notched up his first Test century against India at Galle in 2001. With a string of impressive performances in Tests and ODIs,
Sangakkara gradually displaced one of Sri Lanka’s greatest wicket-keepers, Romesh Kaluwitharana and cemented his place in Sri Lanka’s squad. His splendid double century against Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore helped Sri Lanka win the 2001/02 Asian Test Championship. Another match-winning double century in Colombo in 2004 powered Sri Lanka to their first ever Test series win over South Africa. His ability to score monstrous tons was on display yet again as he along with Mahela Jayawardene broke all kinds of records with a partnership of 624 runs at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo in 2006. Sangakkara fell just 13 short of a triple hundred as Sri Lanka hammered South Africa by an innings and 153 runs. The double centuries flew thick and fast and he replaced Mahela Jayawardene as Sri Lankan skipper in all the three formats in 2009. He gave up his wicket-keeping duties in the Test arena to concentrate on batting later that year. Sanga gave up his captaincy from all formats of the game after Sri Lanka's loss in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup final against India. He became the joint-fastest batsman to get to the 10,000-run mark in Tests at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, in 2012 and was named the ICC ODI player of the year in 2013.
The 2014-15 season saw him hit a purple patch, as he scored runs and centuries at will. He extended this form into the 2015 ICC World Cup as well, becoming the first player ever to score 4 centuries on the trot. However, his golden run could not quite help him in the quarter-final against South Africa as Sri Lanka crumbled to a heavy defeat. Subsequently, Sangakkara announced his retirement from limited overs cricket.
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