September 16, 2011

The all-round art of Sangakkara

Balanced yet intense, ruthless in his need to succeed, always contributing to his team's cause, he is among the finest cricketers Sri Lanka has produced
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Kumar Sangakkara counts among the most polished and prudent of batsmen. Nothing catches the eye about his work except its consistency and efficiency. Although he pulls and cuts efficiently and often, and uses his feet to spinners purposefully, and though he added 624 in an innings with Mahela Jayawardene once, there is something understated and underappreciated about his batting. Perhaps it is that he does not breathe fire, or not often, or withdraw into a cocoon or attack without mercy or resist obstinately or change tempo obviously or grit teeth anxiously or in any other way engage spectators and take them on the journey with him.

Rather, he gets on with the job in a determined, restrained and mostly amiable way. However, character is not to be confused with personality. It takes a lot of courage and commitment to maintain a high standard for a long period, to endure many upheavals and to be a regular in all forms of the game. He has out-stared many bowlers, survived many crises and always retained his educated equanimity. Not even the gunmen in Lahore could put him off his game. Afterwards he said that his country, too, had its troubles and that he would happily come back. Such men are born to bat at first wicket down.

Sanga's character exists not so much on the outside as within. It is not colour he seeks so much as conquest, not passion so much as purity. At times he resembles a businessman going about his duties - the focus on the bottom line, reckless risks disdained. He is professional as opposed to combative, trusting training more than instinct, research more than hunches. In a way it limited his captaincy - Jayawardene reads the game better because he has less faith in reason. Sanga's focus is not so much upon the performance as on the task and the career. Cricket called him, challenged him, even though his head was full of literature, even though he had many safer alternatives. He had to make it work. His ruthlessness comes from this need to succeed.

To that end he analysed the game, worked out the techniques and set about making his mark. From the start he made himself focus on the next ball and on playing it on its merits, and then the one after and so forth till it ends, as all things end, even some of Bradman's innings. It is this ability to think about his game and the game and to reduce both to their bare essentials, a series of deliveries, that has set him apart. Everyone talks about isolating the next ball, but it takes a thinker to reject all other thoughts.

Sangakkara is an all-round man with an all-round game. He is a contributor. Hardly an hour, let alone a day or a match, goes by without something from him. Sometimes he even keeps wicket, and once, in a moment of levity, or opportunity (though surely not revenge, for it is never personal) he was observed rolling over an arm - a right arm, of course, for most modern batsmen operate with the stronger hand to the foremost.

It is the same off the field: the all-round man with the balanced outlook and yet the intensity needed to score as many runs as the most single-minded rival. In repose he talks eloquently and emerges as a mixture of proud citizen and frustrated idealist. Recently he visited schools in the war-torn northern parts of his country and talked about the need to rebuild and the common cause that alone could uplift the nation. He spoke from the heart, and staff and pupils listened, for his words rang true. He constructs his innings and his sentences carefully, and always with a sense of purpose. Sanga has the ability to recognise the aim and to direct his entire energies to its attainment. Nor is he easily distracted.

At the crease, too, he is balanced and organised. Every shot has a sense of cleanliness about it. Inevitably he does make mistakes, errors of judgement, but he rarely suffers from hotness of the head. Consistency of outlook and reliability of technique count among his strengths. He knows his limitations and remains within them, knows his game and applies it methodically. Dilshan may bash away, Jayawardene may caress, but Sangakkara concentrates on the pragmatic, with no ground given to impulse or appearance.

Of course, first wicket down is a tough position. It is not a place for the faint-hearted or self-indulgent. As openers are a breed apart, so are first drops, an adaptable lot ready to play the second ball of the innings or the 300th - like firemen that way, constantly on tenterhooks, never knowing what awaits, the new ball or a tired attack, ready for anything: caution, haste, containment, aggression. To succeed in this position, a man needs to know himself and his own game, and both need to be made of steel.

Sangakkara is the superior batsman because he scores more runs more often and in times of need. Nor does he ever let the side down. Indeed, he has gone into battle on its behalf, on and off the field. de Silva had a bit of Mr Toad in him; Sanga has a lot of Badger

About Sanga's batting it is enough to say that he sits alongside his distinguished contemporaries without losing anything by the comparison. It has been a strong period for first-wicket-down batsmen. It is the most difficult and influential position on the list, and it is to Sangakkara's credit that he has never retreated from the responsibility, not as captain or as keeper.

He might not secure the same plaudits as them but he keeps his part of the bargain just as well, puts as many runs on the board, scores as quickly and as regularly as any of them. Look at the statistics - 8572 runs at 55, and 25 Test hundreds (and 20 stumpings, beat that!). Ask the bowlers. Of course he is not as likely to rip an attack apart as Ricky Ponting in his prime, does not attain the exceptional mixture of artistry and imperturbability as Rahul Dravid at his finest. But he walks out into the heat of battle, draws a lot of fire, and is seldom brought down. Like all these impressive peers he stops the rot before it sets in, softens the ball so that more sketchy batsmen can flourish. Let them do their worst.

Somehow, though, Sanga does not quite get the credit he deserves. If Ponting is great and Dravid is great and Hashim Amla is destined for mighty feats and Jonathan Trott is an immoveable object, then Sanga cannot be ignored. He has played so many wonderful innings, not least a stirring 192 in Hobart that instilled hope in an overwhelmed side, an effort cut short by the sort of umpiring blunder now eliminated by DRS.

Even in his own country Sanga does not tend to get the credit he deserves. Suggestions that he is the best batsman his country has produced tend to raise eyebrows amongst Lankans. Every nation remembers its first champion and forgives him his flaws. Locals talk about Aravinda de Silva and glory enters their eyes. They recall his blistering onslaughts, his vibrant innings, his stunning strokeplay, and most of all his brilliance in the World Cup final, the team's greatest hour. Here was Sri Lanka in excelsis - a local boy proving he could mix it with the giants of the game. It was a breakthrough, an announcement; it was necessary. But de Silva was also mercurial and often unreliable. Like Brian Lara, he could dazzle and disappoint. He was a player of inspired bursts and great innings, as opposed to a great batsman. Perhaps he was, too, the first hero and so forgiven his frailties. History cannot be as accommodating. Sangakkara is the superior batsman because he scores more runs more often and in times of need. Nor does he ever let the side down. Indeed, he has gone into battle on its behalf, on and off the field. de Silva had a bit of Mr Toad in him; Sanga has a lot of Badger.

Of course, he is not perfect. Money matters to him. To that end, he did not exactly hurry to England for the recent Test series, instead playing a few extra IPL matches. Nor was he above pulling strings to legitimise his choice. It was a mistake and both Sanga and his team paid for it. But it told of a certain disillusion, with the administration and high polity. Perhaps, like Anil Kumble, he will switch sides one day. It is devoutly to be wished because he has as much to offer off the field as on it, including the very intelligence and determination that has taken a steady youth player to the highest parts of the batting roll of honour.

Peter Roebuck is a former captain of Somerset and the author, most recently, of In It to Win It

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY CustomKid on | September 20, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    As an Aussie I love and loath Sanga. He's my favorite cricketer to watch, but fills me with terror when he play's the Aussies and walks to the crease. His 192 down in tassie a few moons ago was one of the great knocks I've seen in this country chasing an unlikely 500+ score, and was only cut short by one of R. Kurtzen's all too many blunders.

    On the political side of things I don't know enough about the man or what drives him, but each to their own. I love him for his style and free flowing game. I'd take him over Trott and Dravid any day of the week at number 3 and while he's still hammering attacks around the world I continue to enjoy his artistry.

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | September 19, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    The thing which really worry anyone who has followed his game is that almost 80% of runs S'kara has made haven't had much impact on the end result of the games. He seems to be a player who has had much success than what he may have really destines for with relatively limited ability by largely suppressing even the last drop of flair & by trying to play his own limited version of the game regardless of the match situation. Pretty much in the category of Jacques Kallis IMO, nowhere near the likes of Lara, Tendulkar or Ponting, who may have never compromised the flair just for the sake of better statistics. Even players like Gilchrist, Saeed Anwar, J'ya, Aravinda De Silva, etc. can be far more influential on any day.

  • POSTED BY on | September 19, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    Sanath is the best SL batsman with fastest 50, fastest 100 (broken by Zahid afridi). fastest 150, four scores over 150 (most by any batsman), most sixes in an inning (11 against pakistan), most runs in an over (broken by Gibbs) and most importantly who invented the art of hitting sixes over point.

  • POSTED BY Zookinii on | September 19, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    This was a fantastic article. Sanga is my favourite cricket player, a true gentleman of the game, and a decent role model of today - not just in the field of sport, but in general.

  • POSTED BY Charuka077 on | September 19, 2011, 1:16 GMT

    My favourite cricketer in all times

  • POSTED BY on | September 18, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    sanath is the all time best. As Sri Lankens most of us consider Sanath as the best batsman ever in Sri Lanken cricket history.Sanath has 28 ODI centuries while sanga has only just 11 centuries and Mahela 15.

    Sanath has held many number of world records never to be achieved or by a single player.

    Sanath's world records,

    Fastest 50, Most consecutive 150s , Fastest 150 ,Only batsman to score 13000 + runs and to take 300+ wickets

    Past world records : Fastest 100 ,Most runs in an over, most sixes, most fours Highest 1st wicket partnership,mOST sIXES IN AN INNING

    Sri Lanken records ; Most Centuries, Most Runs in carier ( only second to SAchin in the world ), highest ODI inning ( 189 runs against India), Only sri lanken player to win the "Man of the series " award in a world cup, Most Man of the match awards ( 2nd in the WORLD ). Without Santh no Cricket for SRI LANKENS..

  • POSTED BY harshthakor on | September 18, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    Statistically,one of the game's all -time great batsman .However Stats do not make him an automatic selection to join the club of Tendulkar or Lara.Today averaging over 55 runs is the equivalent of averaging over 50 in the days of Viv Richards or Gavaskar,when wickets were far more in favour of the bowlers and pace attacks significantly better.Today 3 times more batsman average above 50 than in the 1970's or 1980's.

    Overall I would place him in the Javed Miandad or Steve Waugh class and a notch below the very best like Lara,Gavaskar and Tendulkar.I would also rate Gilchrist ahead as he was the greatest match-winner of his era.

    All said and done Sangakaara is one of the most spectacular and dashing batsman of the modern era with a special flair to win both one day and test matches.His record may have been even better if he had played for a champion team.

  • POSTED BY on | September 18, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    Efficiency, Determination, Balance, Restraint, Courage, Commitment, Professionalism, Team Spirit, High Standards, Focus on task, Purposeful, Reliable, Patriotic. Wow! Qualities for a nation as a whole to emulate.Writer has missed empathy borne out in the Lord's lecture.

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    True,true,true! Hats offs to Mr. Peter Roebuck. A very good and analistic observation of one of the best cricket heros of all time, Sanga! My hope is that Sanga changes his mind and take the captaincy again.

  • POSTED BY Rebellious on | September 17, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    Peter,

    Good story but no point writing about whats been said over and over again. We Sri Lankans not only like our cricket but know it well too. Sanga will be a legend but thats where it would stop, like the man himself has said many times. What lies beneath and above cricket is the struggle we've been through as a society to be accepted and accepted we have. That's where the likes of Aravinda, Mahela and Sanga will count. But they have been rewarded handsomely for that in return. What went on in the World Cup final remains a mystery and forever it will remain. The common man who spends to make these blokes heroes is the ultimate winner. Now beat that if you can !

  • POSTED BY CustomKid on | September 20, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    As an Aussie I love and loath Sanga. He's my favorite cricketer to watch, but fills me with terror when he play's the Aussies and walks to the crease. His 192 down in tassie a few moons ago was one of the great knocks I've seen in this country chasing an unlikely 500+ score, and was only cut short by one of R. Kurtzen's all too many blunders.

    On the political side of things I don't know enough about the man or what drives him, but each to their own. I love him for his style and free flowing game. I'd take him over Trott and Dravid any day of the week at number 3 and while he's still hammering attacks around the world I continue to enjoy his artistry.

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | September 19, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    The thing which really worry anyone who has followed his game is that almost 80% of runs S'kara has made haven't had much impact on the end result of the games. He seems to be a player who has had much success than what he may have really destines for with relatively limited ability by largely suppressing even the last drop of flair & by trying to play his own limited version of the game regardless of the match situation. Pretty much in the category of Jacques Kallis IMO, nowhere near the likes of Lara, Tendulkar or Ponting, who may have never compromised the flair just for the sake of better statistics. Even players like Gilchrist, Saeed Anwar, J'ya, Aravinda De Silva, etc. can be far more influential on any day.

  • POSTED BY on | September 19, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    Sanath is the best SL batsman with fastest 50, fastest 100 (broken by Zahid afridi). fastest 150, four scores over 150 (most by any batsman), most sixes in an inning (11 against pakistan), most runs in an over (broken by Gibbs) and most importantly who invented the art of hitting sixes over point.

  • POSTED BY Zookinii on | September 19, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    This was a fantastic article. Sanga is my favourite cricket player, a true gentleman of the game, and a decent role model of today - not just in the field of sport, but in general.

  • POSTED BY Charuka077 on | September 19, 2011, 1:16 GMT

    My favourite cricketer in all times

  • POSTED BY on | September 18, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    sanath is the all time best. As Sri Lankens most of us consider Sanath as the best batsman ever in Sri Lanken cricket history.Sanath has 28 ODI centuries while sanga has only just 11 centuries and Mahela 15.

    Sanath has held many number of world records never to be achieved or by a single player.

    Sanath's world records,

    Fastest 50, Most consecutive 150s , Fastest 150 ,Only batsman to score 13000 + runs and to take 300+ wickets

    Past world records : Fastest 100 ,Most runs in an over, most sixes, most fours Highest 1st wicket partnership,mOST sIXES IN AN INNING

    Sri Lanken records ; Most Centuries, Most Runs in carier ( only second to SAchin in the world ), highest ODI inning ( 189 runs against India), Only sri lanken player to win the "Man of the series " award in a world cup, Most Man of the match awards ( 2nd in the WORLD ). Without Santh no Cricket for SRI LANKENS..

  • POSTED BY harshthakor on | September 18, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    Statistically,one of the game's all -time great batsman .However Stats do not make him an automatic selection to join the club of Tendulkar or Lara.Today averaging over 55 runs is the equivalent of averaging over 50 in the days of Viv Richards or Gavaskar,when wickets were far more in favour of the bowlers and pace attacks significantly better.Today 3 times more batsman average above 50 than in the 1970's or 1980's.

    Overall I would place him in the Javed Miandad or Steve Waugh class and a notch below the very best like Lara,Gavaskar and Tendulkar.I would also rate Gilchrist ahead as he was the greatest match-winner of his era.

    All said and done Sangakaara is one of the most spectacular and dashing batsman of the modern era with a special flair to win both one day and test matches.His record may have been even better if he had played for a champion team.

  • POSTED BY on | September 18, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    Efficiency, Determination, Balance, Restraint, Courage, Commitment, Professionalism, Team Spirit, High Standards, Focus on task, Purposeful, Reliable, Patriotic. Wow! Qualities for a nation as a whole to emulate.Writer has missed empathy borne out in the Lord's lecture.

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    True,true,true! Hats offs to Mr. Peter Roebuck. A very good and analistic observation of one of the best cricket heros of all time, Sanga! My hope is that Sanga changes his mind and take the captaincy again.

  • POSTED BY Rebellious on | September 17, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    Peter,

    Good story but no point writing about whats been said over and over again. We Sri Lankans not only like our cricket but know it well too. Sanga will be a legend but thats where it would stop, like the man himself has said many times. What lies beneath and above cricket is the struggle we've been through as a society to be accepted and accepted we have. That's where the likes of Aravinda, Mahela and Sanga will count. But they have been rewarded handsomely for that in return. What went on in the World Cup final remains a mystery and forever it will remain. The common man who spends to make these blokes heroes is the ultimate winner. Now beat that if you can !

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Sanga is the best batsman wicket keeper,captain,role model the game has ever produced.Gilchrist,Allan Knott ,Matt Prior are no comparison.He has many more years of cricket left in him and will be a true great of cricket for eternity.

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    Problem is when kumar and mahela retire, who would be in the same class as they are? Samaraweera and Dilshan are in the same age bracket as them so when all of them retire, SL will be in the rebuilding phase. Time to blood in young players.

  • POSTED BY Charith99 on | September 17, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    yes, sanga is great but aravinda had something else. after1995, when the chips were down aravinda rose to the occation many more times than mahela or sanga. if he had more oppertunities his record statistically would be better than mahela and sanga

  • POSTED BY freeuds on | September 17, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Sanga is certainly one of the games greats and perhaps the best wicketkeeper batsman ever (although Gilly was great too) and above all he is miles apart from any contemparary cricketer due to the fact that he is such a statesman and there is an air of intelligence about him and like the article says just a very allround guy!!! Sri lanka are lucky to have produced such a fantastic cricketer! good luck to you Sanga in what ever you do!!!!

  • POSTED BY caught_knott_bowled_old on | September 17, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    I have to agree with @urhmmm. Peter Roebuck's writing is excellent in this article. 'Character is not to be confused with personality'...very well said!

    Reg. Sangakkara himself, its a travesty to place Matt Prior above him...there have been a few articles over the summer where Prior's been termed as the best wicketkeeper batsman in world cricket today! Bollocks! Prior can't hold a candle to Sanga.

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    Comparing Sanath & Sanga are like comparing apples and oranges. Sanath is an all rounder with 300 wickets and a dashing bat. Sanga is a stylish bat with good wicket keeping skills. He may not be a Bradman, but in the end, he will certainly be in Lara, Thendulkar, Ponting category,and that is some category to be in! But when combined with his other attributes and skills referred to in the article, he will stand in a category by himself, for how many other cricketers are capable of a speech of the quality that he delivered at the MCC few weeks back? Nandi Jasen

  • POSTED BY Reggaecricket on | September 17, 2011, 2:02 GMT

    Money maters to everybody Peter, that includes Cricketers who do not have a 55/60 year retirement age, they need to make a living, too. Sanga and Mahela have my split vote as the best batsman the country has produced. They are both technically way ahead of Aravinda and Sanath. n these mdern times of 50 over and 20/20 Cricket, technical correctness may not be regarded as important as it once was, but these two have also been consistent and reliable in all formats of the game.

  • POSTED BY on | September 17, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    One of the top class cricketer of all time.....and genuinely a great gentleman when it comes to the spirit of the game.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | September 17, 2011, 1:17 GMT

    I am very fond of Sanga. He's a class act and a true gentleman. He's one of the few cricketers who speak their mind for the betterment of the game. It's unfortunate he couldn't win a world cup for SL BUT his achievements for his nation will go a long way in putting him right up there alongside the many greats from the island. Not just in Sri Lankan cricket, his acts on the field are of legendary status. He's easily the best wicketkeeper batsman after Gilchrist and a true team man. Whether he plays for his IPL franchise or for Sri Lanka, Kumar always gives his 100% and that's the hall mark of an exceptional individual.

  • POSTED BY ygkd on | September 16, 2011, 22:50 GMT

    I would suggest that the Sangakarra/Jayawardene partnership is one of the very best international cricket has seen. Even when Sanga was keeping and Mahela was at slip to Murali's bowling, the two were working together. I would like to see Chandimal improve. I think he has the potential to follow Sanga.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | September 16, 2011, 22:26 GMT

    HLANGL: Sanath Jayasooriya was clearly a match winner, but was not in the same league as Sanga and Aravinda. Sana was great on easy batting tracks. But, Sanga and Ara can/could make runs anywhere against any bowling attack. That is true greatness for a batsman.

  • POSTED BY urhmmm on | September 16, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Listening to the Test match at Pallekale a few days ago, Tony Greig remarked his esteem towards the writings of Peter Roebuck.

    Having read this particular article, I presume his affinity is just. I haven't read a far more astute reflection on Kumar Sangakkara. That purity thus, will not deny Kumar Sangakkara.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    i think De Silva was Sri Lanka's best batsman given the era & frequency he played.

  • POSTED BY KingOwl on | September 16, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    I have great respect for Sanga. He has clearly been the best performer for SL, overall. I would still say that Aravinda De Silva was a better batsman though. His record does not say that. But when you watch De Silva bat, one feels it. Just like Ayrton Senna was the best racing driver ever, despite Schumi's record wins.

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | September 16, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    Sanga is one of the best contemporary cricketers without a doubt,the only blemish is he lost the crowning moment losing the WC as the captain.Will he be able to add that cap in 2015;hope he is determined and focused inside for that goal. Ranil Herath -Kent

  • POSTED BY HLANGL on | September 16, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    The fact that S'kara is the best batsman SL has produced is nothing but biased by taking only the number of runs he has made & the average he's boasting.But what about the brand of game he plays ?. J'ya played a brand of game which demanded some sheer skill, & has many more match winning knocks even in tests, not just in ODIs. He took chances from the first ball he played, all the runs he made had a sheer influence towards the end result of the game.Then comes De Silva, who may not be ultra explosive as J'ya, but a conventionally attacking batsman who could control the situation of the game as demanded. Even he took more chances than S'kara & played the game when SL still emerging as a force to be reckoned with.Can any one rack the number of games S'kara, or even Mahela for that matter, has won for SL opposed to the corresponding figures by J'ya or De Silva?.The fact is that S'kara & Mahela are both playing a lesser brand of game so the chance for them to be consistent is much higher.

  • POSTED BY veenviz on | September 16, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    when I read roebuck's article on anyone... I feel like I belong to the country about whom he has written...rare to see that ...keep up the good work roe

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    @Mani Kumar. Sangakkara wasn't the one behind that no ball decision against sehwag, it was, ironically, the current captain dilshan. Sangakkara has never had a dishonest moment in his career no matter what some people say about the toss in the wc final ( clearly called correctly) He is indeed a legend.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    As Sri Lankens most of us consider Sanath as the best batsman ever in Sri Lanken cricket history.Sanath has 28 ODI centuries while sanga has only just 11 centuries and Mahela 15. Sanath has held many number of world records never to be achieved or by a single player. Sanath's world records, Fastest 50 Most consecutive 150 Fastest 150 Only batsman to score 13000 + runs and to take 300+ wickets Past world records Fastest 100 Most runs in an over most sixes most fours Highest 1st wicket partnership

    Sri Lanken records Most MAN of the Match Award Most Centuries Most Runs in carier ( only second to SAchin in the world ) highest ODI inning ( 189 runs against India) Only sri lanken player to win the "Man of the series " award in a world cup Most Man of the match awards ( 2nd in the WORLD ).

    Without Santh no Cricket for SRI LANKENS..

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    As a Pakistani, I can say easily Sangakarra is my all time favorite non Pakistani cricket. An well-spoken gentleman with great leadership and even better cricketing abilities. His character after the unfortunate Lahore attacks stands out the most. A true legend.

  • POSTED BY WPDDESILVA on | September 16, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    He should be classed as a legend of the game. Go Sanga....

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    @Mani Kumar- Where are the facts? it was Dilshan who asked Randiv to bowl a No-Ball and they were both punished, albeit less for Dilshan. Sanga had nothing to do with it. Please validate ur argument with facts!!!!If not it is better to stay away rather than commenting incorrectly!!!and for that matter Indian Players are not saints either and do not quote Dhoni winning the Spirit of Cricket. He shud have done that in his own discretion not when asked by Strauss and Flower!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 11:20 GMT

    Sanga is indeed a living legend...Humble and Noble as ever....

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    Mr. ROBEUCK I agree to most part of the article! At the same time I sometime recall him as a cricketer who motivated his bolwer to bowl a wide delivery as just 1 run was required for India's victory and Virendra Sehwag was batting on 99 n.o. Eventually, the bowler did not bowl a legal delivery and Sehwag was denied his hundred. This may be one of the exception to his great cricketing career as it happens for any great players..but yeah this chapter does belongs him as well.

  • POSTED BY KP_84 on | September 16, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    de Silva is more popular among Sri Lankan cricket fans because he played a more aggressive brand of cricket than either Sangakkara or Jayawardena, and most of his successes were in limited overs cricket - the format of choice for most Sri Lanka fans. Most Sri Lankans would rate Mahela Jayawardena as their nation's best Test batsman. However, in the eyes of others, Sangakkara is better because he is more adaptable and has been more reliable away from home.

    Apart from England and South Africa, Sangakkara has done well overseas, and has often played a lone hand for the team. His 192 would probably have been a career highlight even if it were in Bradman's career. Apart from an umpiring error, the only other thing that might have caused his downfall is a run-out.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    one of the best piece i have ever read on a cricketer..hatts off to the writer

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    Well Kumar should have faced the problems rather than avoiding by resigning from Captainship. I was disappointed like many. He has the support of past cricketers , present cricketers and the public every Sri Lankans like him to captain. It is not late I believe.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    what a nice article and what a nice sportman sanga.

  • POSTED BY CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on | September 16, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Well the first 2 lines of last paragraph spoilt the entire article every cricketer wants to earn money I don't see any greed in staying to play ipl and reaching england if at all anyone its we indians who paid the most of playing lots of ipl and t 20 matches infact sl performed way better but still have not won a test series in eng,aus,ind,sa so without murali and vaas job gets tougher good luck for future

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    I agree Pete we all got man crush on him, Just the way a man should handle him self perfect.

  • POSTED BY Jejo186 on | September 16, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    Dear Mr.Roebuck, good one. I only have one desire, that you make every cricketer wait 100 tests before they earn themselves an article like this. Keep going Sanga. What a sportsman!

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | September 16, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    @rahulcricket he did take his team into a winning position not "almost"... When he got out, the RRR was less than 6 (great because they were expected to go above 8 an over). Kandamby and Matthews couldn't cope with the pressure and threw the game away

  • POSTED BY shaan1010 on | September 16, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    A true legend & Great ambassador 4 Srilanka Cricket.His 192 Vs Aussies in Hobart was d special knock.his test stats r unblievble as well as ODI. As in my personl view,he shuld have lead d side 4 anthr 2 years & would b make d way 4 Angelo. Good luck Sanga.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    When he came to international cricket replacing KALU i did not like him i even said it in public places ... but now he is my favorite sri lankan player ... if i list all my favorite players, he have big gap with 2nd place ...

  • POSTED BY Meety on | September 16, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    Great article Peter! I am a big fan of Sanga, his Lords address was outstanding, his 192 @ Hobart equally so. Something about him reminds me of Imran Khan & Steve Waugh, anyways IMO - he is far & away SLs best batsmen, & I think he is the best batsmen in the world today (in a slight slump that I hope will last one more test)! LOL! Onya Sanga!!!!

  • POSTED BY Sinhabahu on | September 16, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    Peter, your poetic prose is always a pleasure to read, this one even more so because it's about the greatest batsman Sri Lanka has ever produced. This article has done justice to Sanga's greatness. Great stuff all round.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    Peter Roebuck you are an amazing writer. All your articles are outstanding.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | September 16, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    WELL SAID MR . ROBEUCK . SANGA IS THE BEST BATSMEN SL HAVE EVER PRODUCED IN CRICKET HISTORY HE IS THE ONLY PLAYER IN SL TEAM AFTER MURLITHARAN WHICH I LIKE . I REMEMBER HIS INNINGS IN RAJKOT IN 2009 WHERE HE MADE 90 RUNS ONLY ON 44 BALLS AGAINST INDIA AND ALMOST TAKE TEAM INTO A WINNNING POSITION AFTER CHASING A MASSIVE TOTAL OF 414 .

  • POSTED BY Micgyver on | September 16, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    Great article from a great cricket writer about a great cricketer.For a cricketer to average 55 with the bat,wicket keep and captain all at some stage,you have to be pretty special.And being surrounded by cavaliers like Dilshan,Jayawedena and Malinga,his level-headedness always seems to hold Sri Lankan cricket in good stead.

  • POSTED BY Psychopathetikka on | September 16, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    There may be many who will find fault with this article in their own ways. But I think you have done justice to Sanga and still kept everything in perspective. Good job. And congrats to Sanga.

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  • POSTED BY Psychopathetikka on | September 16, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    There may be many who will find fault with this article in their own ways. But I think you have done justice to Sanga and still kept everything in perspective. Good job. And congrats to Sanga.

  • POSTED BY Micgyver on | September 16, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    Great article from a great cricket writer about a great cricketer.For a cricketer to average 55 with the bat,wicket keep and captain all at some stage,you have to be pretty special.And being surrounded by cavaliers like Dilshan,Jayawedena and Malinga,his level-headedness always seems to hold Sri Lankan cricket in good stead.

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | September 16, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    WELL SAID MR . ROBEUCK . SANGA IS THE BEST BATSMEN SL HAVE EVER PRODUCED IN CRICKET HISTORY HE IS THE ONLY PLAYER IN SL TEAM AFTER MURLITHARAN WHICH I LIKE . I REMEMBER HIS INNINGS IN RAJKOT IN 2009 WHERE HE MADE 90 RUNS ONLY ON 44 BALLS AGAINST INDIA AND ALMOST TAKE TEAM INTO A WINNNING POSITION AFTER CHASING A MASSIVE TOTAL OF 414 .

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    Peter Roebuck you are an amazing writer. All your articles are outstanding.

  • POSTED BY Sinhabahu on | September 16, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    Peter, your poetic prose is always a pleasure to read, this one even more so because it's about the greatest batsman Sri Lanka has ever produced. This article has done justice to Sanga's greatness. Great stuff all round.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | September 16, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    Great article Peter! I am a big fan of Sanga, his Lords address was outstanding, his 192 @ Hobart equally so. Something about him reminds me of Imran Khan & Steve Waugh, anyways IMO - he is far & away SLs best batsmen, & I think he is the best batsmen in the world today (in a slight slump that I hope will last one more test)! LOL! Onya Sanga!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    When he came to international cricket replacing KALU i did not like him i even said it in public places ... but now he is my favorite sri lankan player ... if i list all my favorite players, he have big gap with 2nd place ...

  • POSTED BY shaan1010 on | September 16, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    A true legend & Great ambassador 4 Srilanka Cricket.His 192 Vs Aussies in Hobart was d special knock.his test stats r unblievble as well as ODI. As in my personl view,he shuld have lead d side 4 anthr 2 years & would b make d way 4 Angelo. Good luck Sanga.

  • POSTED BY johnathonjosephs on | September 16, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    @rahulcricket he did take his team into a winning position not "almost"... When he got out, the RRR was less than 6 (great because they were expected to go above 8 an over). Kandamby and Matthews couldn't cope with the pressure and threw the game away

  • POSTED BY Jejo186 on | September 16, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    Dear Mr.Roebuck, good one. I only have one desire, that you make every cricketer wait 100 tests before they earn themselves an article like this. Keep going Sanga. What a sportsman!