Sri Lankan cricket's future is in great hands: Kumar Sangakkara
Outgoing Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara believes he is leaving the island nation in safe hands after his retirement from ODI cricket. In the aftermath of the loss at the hands of South Africa, the southpaw said that despite losing in the quarter-final of the World Cup, the future of Sri Lankan cricket is secure.
“I have no fear about Sri Lanka’s future”
The 37-year-old pointed out that captain Angelo Mathews is doing a great job alongside other players like Tillakaratne Dilshan and Lahiru Thirimanne.
“I think the team is in great hands. Angelo Mathews has been such an impressive leader right throughout,” said Sangakkara. “I think Tillakaratne Dilshan might be playing a few more seasons for Sri Lanka, and we’ve had Lahiru Thirimanne, who’s really made great strides.
“Every single time he plays he looks more and more impressive. We’ve had a few injuries this tour, but if you look at the players we have, you can’t but be positive about the future.
“I think if you take some of the younger players, if I can compare myself to them at the same age, I think these guys are quite a way ahead of where I was, and that’s quite exciting when you really look at it because that means they’ve got so much more left to learn and a lot more to give to Sri Lanka.
“I have no fear about the future of Sri Lankan cricket.”
“We weren’t good enough”
Sri Lanka had qualified for the final in the previous two World Cup editions, ending up as runners-up each time. Sangakkara said that it was disappointing to lose in the quarter-final, but admitted they weren’t good enough.
“We were expecting, as much as anyone, of ourselves. But we weren’t good enough today.”
Sangakkara bowed out of the World Cup with 541 runs at an astonishing average of 108. He, however, did not dwell too much on losing his last ODI as he said, “That’s the way it goes. Personally I’ve had a great time playing with these boys. Disappointments are a part of our career, and you just take it on the chin and move on.”
Apart from Sangakkara, fellow batsman Mahela Jayawardene also called it quits and the wicket-keeper had nothing but praise for him. He said, “I think Mahela has been an exceptional player for Sri Lanka. I’m sure he’s going to be thoroughly disappointed today, but also, sometimes there is a bit of relief, as well, when your career ends.”
Kumar Sangakkara retires from ODI cricket after amassing a massive 14,234 runs in 404 matches at an average of 41.98 which include 38 centuries. He was involved in 501 dismissals as a wicket-keeper with 402 catches and 99 stumpings.