The second Test between Sri Lanka and India, starting 20 July in Colombo, will be a historical one for wicket-keeper and batsman Kumar Sangakkara as his international career draws to a close after serving his nation for 15 years.
Sangakkara announced his decision to retire after playing the second Test match in Colombo, even before the India vs Sri Lanka Test series started. Irrespective of his performance in his farewell Test, the batsman will be remembered as one of the greatest batsmen to have ever picked up a willow.
Ever since Sangakkara broke out in the international stage, the batsman has been scoring runs at will for his national side, irrespective of the format. Sangakkara played 133 Test matches scoring 12350 runs, and amassed 14234 runs in 404 ODI matches.
Even team India director, Ravi Shastri showered the Sri Lankan run machine with praise for his consistency.
"He broke into being one of the top two or three players and he never got out of that. There might have been a one year or a six-month period where his form might have dipped. But otherwise, for sheer consistency, he is unmatched," BCCI official website quoted Shastri as saying.
Shastri further went on to compare Sangakkara with two of the best batsmen the world has ever seen -- Sachin Tendulkar and Sir Don Bradman.
"There are very few players who fall in that list. You can bring Sachin Tendulkar in that league as the kind of player that once broke into the top two or three never moved out of there. Sangakkara's record shows you that. He has got runs world over and scored double hundreds like it is a pass time. He is equal with Sir Donald Bradman," added Shastri.
The left hander has won a number of matches single-handedly for Sri Lanka as he scored centuries on a consistent basis.
Sangakkara scored 25 centuries in ODIs and 38 tons in Test matches. Cricket fans around the world will be eager to see the star batsman finish off on a high with a century, which includes a flurry of cover drives that entertained each and every cricket lover in the past. One will miss the elegance of the Sri Lankan cricketer.
Apart from his cricket skills, the Sri Lankan was one of the greatest ambassadors of the game and played cricket in the right spirit.
"We love Sanga for the way he has entertained and he has been a fantastic ambassador for the game of cricket. That is a legacy that he will leave behind. I think every Sri Lankan should be proud of what he has achieved not just personally but the way he has conducted himself in going round the world as an international cricketer. You can call him as one of the statesmen of the modern game," Shastri added.