Kumar Sangakkara, an elegant stroke player, a reliable keeper, an astute thinker, was the cornerstone of Sri Lankan cricket for close to 15 years.
After playing close to 500 international games for his country, the all-time great cricketer played his final game in a Test against India at Colombo (PSS) in 2015.
Sangakkara’s arrival on the cricket scene was sensational. A blistering 156 against Zimbabwe A in 2000 was enough to convince the selectors of his ability. Rewarded with a place in the one-day squad at the age of only 22, he won his first Man of the Match award in his second game.
He scored his maiden Test century in his tenth Test after missing out twice before by getting out in the 90s. His batting was bordered by a temperament beyond his age.
Sangakkara reached the peak of his prowess under the leadership of his good mate Mahela Jayawardene, having a prolific run in both forms of the game. His compiled a monumental 287 in the company of Mahela as the duo put on 624, and sucked the life out of the South African bowling attack, while rewriting First-Class cricket record books.
His counter-attacking century on a green pitch in Wellington in 2006-07 showed his class as a batsman.