Rivals set for ‘emotional’ Sangakkara farewell

Published : 9:56 am  August 20, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


 reads | 

sanga2India and Sri Lanka head into Thursday’s second Test in Colombo with the rival captains determined not to be swayed by the emotions surrounding Kumar Sangakkara’s last match.

The 37-year-old Sri Lankan great, who is the highest run-getter among those still playing at the top level, will bid adieu to international cricket after the match, ending a glorious 15-year career.

Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews, buoyant by a brilliant 63-run win in the first Test in Galle said the boys wanted to win the three-match series to give Sangakkara a suitable farewell. “This is obviously an emotional game for all of us,” Mathews said on Wednesday.  “Sangakkara has not only been a great servant of the game, but he is a great human being too.”
 “We can’t thank him enough for what he has done for Sri Lankan cricket and the team over the past so many years. We thank him truly and wish him all the very best for his future endeavours.”

 “It’s going to be a tough game for him as well emotionally. But all good things have to come to an end unfortunately. The best thing we can do is try and win the series for him. We have trained hard and are ready to go.”  Asked how Sangakkara had reacted in the dressing room about his impending departure, Mathews said:  “He has worked as hard as any of us. I am sure he is determined to sign off with a hundred.”  Sangakkara will want to end an unusually barren streak at the P. Sara Oval where he has fallen for zero in each of his last three Tests, including a first-ball duck against Pakistan in June. Indian skipper Virat Kohli, looking to level scores in his first full series as captain, said the tourists were not distracted by the hype over Sangakkara’s retirement.

 “We are certainly not distracted by it,” Kohli said.  “In fact, this will be more of a strange situation for Sri Lanka than us.”