'A Gentleman Beyond the Game' is what people referred to when talking about the Sri Lankan batting legend Kumar Sangakkara, who called time on his brilliant international Test career on Monday, after Sri Lanka lost the second Test to India by 278 runs in Colombo.
The emotions were setting in slowly as the series came closer. However, the great left-hander could not make it a fairytale ending to his illustrious career as former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar had said during the post-match felicitation ceremony "not many cricketers can end their career on a fairy tale note" but Sangakkara will remain an inspiration for the young cricket aspirants. And thus even Gavaskar said at the end "Thank You Sanga!"
"It never hits you until the end comes," Sangakkara said. "You finish the cricket and then you are out there talking about yourself in the past tense.
"Preparation as usual was the same, the focus and putting the fact that it is my last Test behind me. The emotion used to come at the end of the day, knowing that the countdown had started.
"Guard of honour is just another reminder when you walk through that this is the end really. There's no choice but to accept it and get on.
"I have been very blessed to have the support I have had all through the years and also the support I had over the last five days."
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews expressed his disappointment after they were handed a drubbing by India by a huge margin of 278 runs. Mathews and the rest of the Lankan side wanted to make it special for the legendary left-handed batsman, but unfortunately they could not.
"Unfortunately, we didn't play as well as we could. India played a fantastic game of cricket. But from a personal point of view, enjoyed every minute of it even though ending up on the losing side is disappointing. I was very, very glad that I have been fortunate enough to play another Test match," Sangakkara added.
Sangakkara also thanked his family, friends and relatives, without whose support he would not have been able to achieve all he did in his glorious cricketing career.
"There were quite a few special moments. Today was always going to be special for a lot of reasons," Sangakkara said. "It was the first time that I had my parents, siblings, wife and children all together at one place, watching me play. That is always going to be the memorable part of my game. Not the on-field part.
"But being not able to spend time with my wife, children and parents. My parents have never made a fuss of anything. They rarely come to the games or see me off during the games. But they keenly follow my game."