Kumar Sangakkara's retirement will take the sheen off world cricket
"We remember not the scores and the results in after years; it is the men who remain in our minds, in our imagination”.
-Sir Neville Cardus
In the southeast part of the Indian subcontinent, there was an island named Ceylon which was a British colony from 1802 to 1948 and at first it did not include the Kingdom of Kandy but from 1817, the British possessions included the whole island of Ceylon. Ceylon gained independence on February 4, 1948, and in 1972 it was renamed as Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with full of natural beauties. Sri Lanka’s golden beaches, green forests, waterfalls and the waves of the blue ocean are matter of great interest for the tourists and their cricket and cricketers have always been a subject of joy for the cricketing World. Like Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, the Sri Lankans are passionate for cricket. World cricket has been glorified more often by some of the finest cricketers from Sri Lanka.
The first recorded cricket match in Sri Lanka was way back in 1832 and in 1905 they started playing first class cricket. The Australian and English teams used Sri Lanka as a stopover during their long and strenuous voyages and during their short stay, they used to play cricket matches over there and thus, Sri Lanka’s first-class cricket was limited to games against the touring side. Perhaps, the tours of teams like Australia and England during those days had helped in developing a strong cricket culture in the island. Occasionally, teams representative of the then Ceylon played matches in abroad, especially in India.
Sri Lanka’s cricket culture is very well-founded. Alongside passion, there always existed the eagerness to learn the game and this accounted for creating a generation of cricketers who would make a mark in the cricketing fraternity not only by their cricketing abilities but from an intellectual perspective as well. Sri Lanka has gifted the world some of the most exciting, non-conventional and finest brains of the game.
Sidath Wetimunny, Duleep Mendis, Roy Dias, Aravinda de Silva, Arjuna Ranatunga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas and Sanath Jayasuriya instilled a culture which proved instrumental in creating a legacy which has been carried on by the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Rangana Herath and the next generation of cricketers.
Man of the Moment - Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Chokshanada Sangakkara is one of the finest products of embellished Sri Lankan cricket culture and can be described as the symbol of precision and artistry of modern day cricket. Like his stroke-play, his vision towards life and its perspectives and opinions about cricket’s various issues is spick-and-span. Since he made his debut in 2000, his achievements only swelled by leaps and bounds. His impact on and off the field has been prodigious, which made him a valuable ornament in World cricket. But, more than his humungous amount of international runs, staggering batting average in Test cricket, leadership qualities, effective social works and MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture in 2011; his style of batting will always be a matter of great interest for the fans, especially the cricket romantics.
The story of Sri Lankan left-handed willow-wielders have always been either about brute force or sheer grit rather than elegance. In the history of cricket, the majority of the left-handed batsmen has been all about sumptuousness. Whenever the topic about a left-handed batsman crops up, delicacy, elegance and art are the words which automatically come into our mind. The common myth is, the left-handed batters themselves are made for artistry. But Sri Lanka didn’t fit well in this category until Sangakkara arrived on the scene.