At the age of 22, Kumar Sangakkara was meant to be more than just a good law student. When you talk about the greats of cricket, Kumar Sangakkara surely makes his spot among the greats. He’s actually completely different from every other single player. He’s calm and humble. A person who appreciates the sportsman spirit. The man did not even bend on his knees or cry after losing the World Cup final back in 2011. Instead, he stood up like a gentleman and showed sportsman spirit and congratulated India on winning the World Cup. Sangakkara had so many qualities and some of them are only found in him. It’s like he’s God gifted. A masterpiece. Filled with passion, patience, sportsman spirit, respect and so many countless qualities. His body language just shows how passionate he is toward the game of cricket. He just wants to keep on playing, does not matter what the format is. We’ve seen many times that some good players option to limit their scope of formats. Some focus on T20. Some focus on tests. While Sangakkara filled every single gap, where he could play.
Kumar Sangakkara made his international debut at the age of 22 in a test series against South Africa. He scored 23 runs in his only innings of his debut match. His One-day international debut was against Pakistan in which he scored some impressive runs. He scored 199 runs with an average of 66.33 in the triangular series. Something really impressive from a player playing in his early stage. His first test century came up against India in 2001, where he helped his team anchoring the innings. Later that season, he scored a century in West Indies. Scoring a century in the first match in the West Indies again indicated that Sangakkara was no ordinary batsman. He scored a his first test double century in the start of 2002 against mighty Pakistani bowlers. Facing the most dangerous bowling line-up of back then with back to back difficult deliveries to play but Sangakara showed his class and played a remarkable knock against Pakistan. His second test double hundred came up against South Africa in July, which is remembered as one of the greatest knock in cricket history. Sangakkara score 287 against South Africa and also contributed in the highest partnership record in test cricket, pairing 624 runs with Mahela Jayawardene. Imagine facing South African attack and you resist it no matter what! That shows what a great person Sangakkara was for the game of cricket and cricket is actually blessed to have a player like Sangakkara. There are countless memories he has made in test cricket. He’s scored so many crucial knocks and not even for second he let pressure take him off his game. In 2014, Sangakkara finally reached the milestone of scoring a triple century. He did it against Bangladesh, scoring 311. Which also is his highest test score. Sangakkara has plenty of records named to himself in the test format. He is the fastest batsman to score 8000, 9000, 10000, 11,000 and 12,000 career runs in test cricket. Doing so much and playing according to your merit was something difficult back then and then to make your name in a young age with existence of batsmen like Tendulkar, Dravid and Brian Lara was something really remarkable by Sangakkara. He made his name in the presence of current great players from his country as well. Sangakkara captained Sri Lanka in 134 matches in which he led them to 54 victories.
As it has been mentioned before, Sangakkara coped with all formats of the cricket, he was just as good as in One-day cricket and T20 cricket. His One-day debut was against Pakistan as mentioned above. Through his career, Sangakkara was a treat to watch for a cricket fan. From staying for hours in test matches, he would score fast knocks in One-day internationals. And it never was just ”that one” particular performance. He did it again and again and led Sri Lanka to front. He’s the first Sri Lankan to surpass 14,000 runs and the only second batsman to surpass the milestone after Sachin Tendulkar. He was an important member of the team throughout his career and he helped his country to reach the World Cup final in 2011, which he sadly lost. One year later he won ICC T20 World Cup in 2012. Sangakkara has scored 12400 test runs which includes 38 hundreds and 52 fifties with an average of 57.40 in 134 matches. He is the second highest run scorer in the history of One-day international cricket with 14234 runs in 404 matches with an average of 41.98. He has decorated his One-day international career with 25 centuries and 93 fifties.
By the time Sangakkara announced his retirement, he still had not lost his consistency and he said the reason why he’s retiring is because he wants more young talent to rise for the national team and he thinks that it’s the right moment to call off his international cricket career.
As mentioned earlier, Sangakkara loves playing cricket no matter what the format is, that’s why through out his international career and even now after his retirement, Sangakkara plays T20 cricket leagues all over the world and is one of the most wanted players by any T20 franchise club. He has played for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Hobart Hurricanes, Jamaica Tallawahs, Warwickshire, Surrey, Quetta Gladiators and recently Karachi Kings.
After retirement, Sangakkara signed a deal with the Surrey County Club and has been representing them since 2915. This season he scored 4 centuries in 4 matches including a double century. Sangakkara has now 100 domestic centuries 205 fifties.
Despite being 39, Sangakkara still remains to be one of the fittest player in the world. Sangakkara has amazed and entertained the world of cricket and there’s no doubt he is one of the greatest cricketer of all time. A young law student to being one of the greatest, it is nothing more than a fairy tale.