Sangakkara set for summer Test retirement

Ziggy | 09 Mar, 2015 09:06AM | Leave a comment
Kumar Sangakkara has said he will retire from Test cricket "by the end of August". Sangakkara, 37, who will play his final ODI at the ongoing World Cup, is likely to end his Test career with the three-match series that is scheduled against India in August.

"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," Sangakkara told ESPNcricinfo.

After two low scores at the World Cup, Sangakkara has been in top form, hitting consecutive unbeaten tons leading into the Australia match. He said it was important for both him and the team to build momentum as the tournament progresses. "I don't know whether I am 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 onwards it was just a case of building on runs.

"[For the team] it has gone pretty well up to now. 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 World Cup will also be Mahela Jayawardene's last international assignment, and the pair's departure will leave a big hole in Sri Lanka's batting. The players earmarked to step into their shoes are Lahiru Thirimanne, a left-hander like Sangakkara, and Dinesh Chandimal. Sangakkara had good things to say about both players.

"Whatever they need to learn most of them will ask and learn, or watch and learn, they'll have a chat with you. But whatever you have to offer might not be of benefit to a younger player, maybe they need something else, maybe they are good enough and their perspectives are better than yours. Learning is a two-way street, you learn from them as well as young players learning from you.

"The best thing as a senior cricketer you can do is to hold your place in the side and pull your own weight and score runs if you're a batsman, and if you are a bowler do the job that's required of you. That's the best way you can help the team or any youngster. As long as you are there and you are doing something useful, they'll benefit."