Kumar set to retire after India series

Sri Lanka may have lost to Australia, but Kumar Sangakkara enthralled the SCG crowd with yet another century in the ongoing World Cup.

By OUR Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 9.03.15
Kumar Sangakkara after his century, on Sunday

Calcutta: Sri Lanka may have lost to Australia, but Kumar Sangakkara enthralled the SCG crowd with yet another century in the ongoing World Cup.

His superb 104, albeit in a losing cause, made Sangakkara the first ever to score three centuries on the trot at a World Cup.

The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman, however, is set to bid adieu to international cricket by the end of August when Sri Lanka host India in a three-match Test series.

"There are Test matches in June and July, and I will be done by the end of August. A series or two in June and in August, and that's it," a cricket-specific website quoted Sangakkara as saying.

The former Sri Lanka skipper said it was important for both him and the team to build momentum in the tournament. "I don't know whether I am on top of my game. I just bat according to situations.

"During the (preceding) New Zealand tour, it was the same thing, I didn't have a good start in the first ODI, but from the second, it was just a case of building on runs," he said.

"For the team, it has gone pretty well so far... Again a slow start, a bit shaky against Afghanistan, but pretty good in the last two games... It's just a case of trying to ensure that we put up a good performance every time we go out and keep on improving," the southpaw pointed out.

Apart from Sangakkara, the World Cup will also be Mahela Jayawardene's last international assignment, and the duo's departure is set to leave a big hole in Sri Lanka's batting department.

"It's a bit archaic to think that senior players only have so much to give.

"You play your best cricket for your country and do the best for your side and sometimes young players don't need as much help as people think they do.

"They need a little bit of freedom, a bit of love, a bit of care, and they'll perform very well," Sangakkara said about Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal, who are expected to fill in their shoes.

Talking about Thirimanne in particular, Sangakkara said, "He batted beautifully and fought through some tough situations. He's done a lot of hard work for the team and seems to be very impressive".

"Thiri is much better than me when I was his age. I think he can only get better and that's really exciting for us."

About Chandimal, Sangakkara said: "Dinesh is batting well. He is a great player and is really positive. He's got everything to make him a really good player for Sri Lanka. I hope he keeps getting the opportunity and when he does, keeps doing what's required of him."Technique or anything else, it's about scoring runs. Chandi has shown he has the ability to score runs especially against good attacks. Coming in the second Test in Wellington and batting at 85 for five and getting 70-odd was another tough knock under pressure.

"He has the ability to do that. He just needs be free and happy, and keep getting opportunities," Sangakkara emphasised.<>"