Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara raised his arms and walked off silently after his last innings in international cricket on Sunday, August 23. There was no drama about his last walk back to the hut except the standing ovation from the Indian team and the crowd as indomitable Sri Lankan cricket team fan Percy Abeysekera waved the national flag. “I want to be remembered as just who I was and the way I played,” he told FirstPost a week before his retirement.
With over 12,400 Test runs, Sangakkara is among the top five run scorers in the history of Test cricket, but his 57.40 average is the best among the top 25 run getters.
Only four greats — Garry Sobers (27th with 8031 runs @ 57.78 average), Wally Hammond (41st with 7249 runs @ 58.45 average), Ken Barrington (51st with 6806 runs @ 58.67 average) and Don Bradman (47th with 6996 runs @ 99.94 average) — are ahead of Sanga in averages.
Sangakkara was an all rounder in true sense. A sharp-thinking former Sri Lankan skipper was also tough talking, thus clashed with officials often as he fought for the rights of cricketers and cricket. He batted fiercely and equally fiercely did everything on and off the field that he deemed right. He never shied away from his own brand of sledging, which he termed as the psychological aggression.
A lawyer by profession, Sangakkara writes and knows his way with words, which he used to good effect while sledging from behind the wickets. At the same time, he left a mark as a gentleman cricketer, who was the best of his time, The Khaleejtimes reports.