Legendary Sri Lankan wicket-keeper batsman Kumar Sangakkara retired from international cricket on Monday, bring an end to what has been a phenomenal career.
He scored more than 38,000 runs in all forms of international games and scored 63 centuries and 145 fifties in both ODI and Test matches. And while keeping behind the stumps, he was responsible for sending batsmen back to pavilion on 703 times through his catches and stumping.
Sanga, as he was popularly known, has also been the highest runs scorer for Sri Lanka in both forms of the games. With the Test average of 57.40, he was also ahead of the top 26 Test runs scorer including India’s Sachin Tendulkar. Only Sir Don Bradman (99.94), Ken Barrington (58.67), Wally Hammond (58.45) and Sir Garfield Sobers (57.78) have higher averages than him.
Tributes have been pouring in from around the world for this cricketing legend. Please see below how the world cricket has reacted to his retirement.
Former India camptain and batting legend, Sachin Tendulkar:
“Well played Kumar Sangakkara. You have been a terrific ambassador for the game and a thorough gentleman. Warm welcome to the club of the Retired!”
Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar:
“People ask me about the big achievements, the hundreds, the World Cup wins, but I just look up at the box, all my friends over the last 30 years have come up here on a Monday to watch me play. To be able to go back to a family that will love me whether I win or lose, that is my greatest achievement.”
Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott:
“Sangakkara has been a beautiful player; a stylish, excellent batsman. Nearly all the great players have footwork and he has it. And I don’t think there’s any doubt he could carry on for two or three years. But you get tired mentally.”
Bollywood actor and owner of Kolkata Knight Riders, Shah Rukh Khan:
“Kumar Sangakkara, I know you gotta do what you gotta do and you have done much more than most….But will miss you in front and behind the stumps.”
Team-mate and a close friend, Mahela Jayawardena:
It wasn’t to be in this match but what he was for SL cricket is some thing that you can’t take away. Very proud of you mate.
Sri Lankan commentator Roshan Abeysinghe:
“Sad end to truly glittering career of a true legend of not just Sri Lankan cricket but the game of cricket.”
England coach Trevor Bayliss, former coach of Sri Lanka, on BBC Test Match Special:
“He’s one of the legends of the game. He’s one of those local heroes that a lot of people in Sri Lanka look up to, and he’s been a great role model. He’s had so many great innings over a period of time. The poise and time that he’s got at the crease has been one of his hallmarks.”
Team-mate Angelo Mathews:
“Gutted that we couldn’t send Kumar Sangakkara with a win.what a legend he is, most importantly, a great gentleman.thanks 4 all the support.”
Former India batsman, Sanjay Manjrekar:
“Very organised & neat with his cricket was Kumar Sangakkara,for someone who is extremely messy at home according to his wife, Yehali”
Fomrer Indiaplayer, Anil Kumble:
“Congratulations Kumar Sangakkara for an incredible International career. Best wishes for the future!”
Indian cricketer, Murli Kartik:
“Heartiest Congratulations to Kumar Sangakkara, a champion cricketer, a career one can only dream of. Every left hander including me wanted to bat like you.”
BCCI Secretary and Indian Member of Parliament, Anurag Thakur:
“Batting legend Kumar Sangakkara walks into a cricketing sunset. What a wonderful career and character. Wishing you a great second innings.”