Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, SSC, 4th day August 17, 2014

Sangakkara scotches retirement fears

Kumar Sangakkara's wave of the bat after falling for 58 triggered worries about whether he was set to quit Test cricket
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It was just one raise of the blade. One turn, a smile, and a wave. But all across the country, its ripples were being felt. Kumar Sangakkara has become an increasingly reticent celebrator of his hundreds. At times he seems bored by his own success. A 200 in Galle brought little more than a fist pump.

But here he was, acknowledging applause after being cut down for a half-century. Already overdosing on emotion, the SSC crowd felt a further disturbance in the force. "Sangakkara, raising his bat for a 58? Err... does he know that score drags his average down?"

Both he and Mahela Jayawardene had repeated they will play at least ODIs until the World Cup, but with a wave of Sangakkara's bat, worst-case scenarios were being arrived at. Some thought he would stay for the Tests in New Zealand at the end of the year, surely? The pessimists were chief scaremongers as usual, in the ground, and on social media. "Looks like Sanga might announce his retirement right after this Test," went the gist several dozen tweets and Facebook updates.

In the world of the frightened fan, a sudden Sangakkara retirement almost made sense. Jayawardene has always been a man of the people, through and through. Mahela is a common name in the country, yet it is all people refer to him by - either that or just 'Maiya'. The farewell in Galle and the SSC will have meant as much to the player as much as to his fans, and the emotion has at times been writ plain across his face.

Sangakkara appreciates the support he gets too, but he's always been that little more aloof. Cricket is his job, and he is a consummate professional. Maybe he would not mind bowing out without all the fanfare. He has spoken about "leaving the game while you're on top" since he was still years away from retirement, so what better time to leave than after a series in which he has been the top scorer, with his team probably going to end up winning 2-0.

Thankfully for Sri Lanka's fans, Sangakkara eased their worries after play when he said he had no immediate plans to leave Tests. "We won't be playing Test cricket in Sri Lanka for a long time from now until probably June," he said. "Waving the bat was just…. I didn't have anything in mind. There are two one-day series in Sri Lanka and the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. After the World Cup I will take a decision about my future, after speaking to the national selectors."

Though fears have been allayed for now, the day-long rumour Sangakkara caused with a minor, spontaneous action revealed something of the Sri Lanka fan's mentality. On Saturday, the SSC match had not been particularly well attended when Jayawardene came to the crease for the final time. When the audience had arrived in force on Sunday morning, all they got was nine more runs from Sri Lanka's most celebrated pair.

The crowd stayed the whole day, and even swelled in the afternoon, as they cheered the two Jayawardene slip catches more enthusiastically than the other five wickets. Still, many cursed themselves for missing the bulk of that final innings. Sri Lankans have developed a global reputation for being perpetually late, and many in Colombo had woken up to Jayawardene's departure a day late. As some in the stands spent the day in wistful regret, a wave of the bat from Sangakkara was enough to incite panic.

The sense of panic had been intensified maybe by what has happened north of the Palk Strait, and currently in England, since India's beloved old guard stepped down. Aside from Angelo Mathews, the young men lining up to replace the old stars have not been convincing yet.

Even beyond that, could any young players ever mean to Sri Lanka what "Sanga" and "Mahela" have been? It is one thing to be good at cricket - even great at it - but few people, in any walk of life, have captured the imagination of a country as completely as Jayawardene and Sangakkara. They are not so much celebrities as old, familiar friends. Every time they exchange their soul-brother handshake mid-pitch an entire nation feels a little better.

Maybe the loss fans feel when they have both stepped aside will not be complete until Sri Lanka eventually take the field without either of them. Sri Lankan goodbyes are so often long and drawn out. Perhaps the saddest moments will be when the door is finally closed, and fans confront the haunting quiet of cricket without them. It may be the same for the team itself, Sangakkara said.

"It's hard to say what it's like, what it will be like the next time you play a Test match without Mahela," he said. "I think it will really sink in in our next Tests in New Zealand. Right now I think the guys are just coming to terms with the fact that Mahela is going to retire, but I think that all the emotions will all come out when we next take the field without him in the ranks. That's when you can really explain what you feel and you can really take stock of what the team is like and the dressing-room atmosphere is like without Mahela in it."

On day four, even with the joy of nearing a 2-0 victory over Pakistan, the Sri Lanka public were forced to begin contemplating a new reality. They will support their team through everything, as they always have, but a future without both the country's top-order darlings will take some getting used to, whenever that arrives.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dynamodev on August 18, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    Sanga and Mahela are true cricketing sons. They have both played with so much pride and passion. Off the field, they are true gentlemen. I had the honour of meeting and speaking with both a few years ago when they toured England. As a South African supporter, if SA do not win next year's world cup, I would love Sri Lanka to win it for these two. They full deserve all the accolades they have gotten thus far and cricket will be poorer without them both when they finally call time.

  • KrisRam77 on August 18, 2014, 9:50 GMT

    I am very sure that SL will win the WC 2015 in Aus n NZ!! Mahela and Sanga deserve the WC winning Medal. Sanga should hang around atleast in test cricket for another 2 years after WC and guide the youngsters to settle in, if he does stay for 2 years he would trashed all the test records.. go Sanga go.. you great!!

  • peter56 on August 18, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    Farooq3 and others on here, are living in a dream world. Sanga may well have 2 more years of test cricket left in him but what good is that when The Sri Lankan board have only arranged 2 tests in the next year.if he plays for 2 years he is probably only going to have only 8 to 10 tests to play in. This is not enough for him to even get to 13,000 runs. why should he want to carry on with no incentive because of not enough tests to play? all he can do by playing on is to see his average decline, as it inevitably will. his average now is 58.76. when You have a very high average in the case of virtually all players it declines usually quite sharply in the last few years of your test career.(only 2 or 3 exceptions) Ricky Pontings average dropped from 58 to 51. I would love to see him retire as soon as his standards start to drop. I dont want to see him finish up with 12,500 runs and an average down below 56.I dont think he will go on long as soon as his average starts to drop.

  • on August 18, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    Sangakkara has overtaken Dravid...RAHUL DRAVID in the number of test runs!!! This guy deserves huge respect specially considering him coming from a small nation. Also Mahela

  • Udendra on August 18, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    He really should have kept that bat down. Has stirred a hornet's nest.

  • on August 18, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    Pl Sanga DON'T! and u got lot more years! and Andrew pl don't .....

  • johnathonjosephs on August 18, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    You need to bring in Chandimal as a specialist batsman for Mahela. He is the only one who has been given the exposure and has the potential to fill in his shoes. I would like to see Kaushal Perera in the side and for Tharanga to either go (his technique needs some severe improvement) or move down the order. Vithanage has potential but really, SLC needs to start looking for a Sanga replacement. I think Matthews should definitely move up the order as he will give a lot more stability to the top order

  • on August 18, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    man dont give us a heart attack...

  • priya65 on August 18, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    Sanga is smart.. He will not retire and put the country in jeopardy. He cares for the team a lot . Both Sanga and Mahela took us beyond 1996 Arjuna era in which Big brother Arjuna was calling the shots. After that Sanath, Marvan Mahela and Sanga all of them were comrades. Mahela and Sanga took us beyond that coming of age that occurred in 1996. They matcheed calss with class, and word with word. They went through a shooting incident in Pakistan. Still didn't shy away from national duty at any stage. wish you well Mahela ! Wish you many more doubles and may be a quadruple century ( hopefully against Aus ). About the two of you we will tell our grand children for sure.

  • madaks on August 18, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    sanga has to play with Chandimal some time. Chandimal is the only and best replacement for Mahela. He has to learn lot from Sanga. Please don't retire sanga.

  • Dynamodev on August 18, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    Sanga and Mahela are true cricketing sons. They have both played with so much pride and passion. Off the field, they are true gentlemen. I had the honour of meeting and speaking with both a few years ago when they toured England. As a South African supporter, if SA do not win next year's world cup, I would love Sri Lanka to win it for these two. They full deserve all the accolades they have gotten thus far and cricket will be poorer without them both when they finally call time.

  • KrisRam77 on August 18, 2014, 9:50 GMT

    I am very sure that SL will win the WC 2015 in Aus n NZ!! Mahela and Sanga deserve the WC winning Medal. Sanga should hang around atleast in test cricket for another 2 years after WC and guide the youngsters to settle in, if he does stay for 2 years he would trashed all the test records.. go Sanga go.. you great!!

  • peter56 on August 18, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    Farooq3 and others on here, are living in a dream world. Sanga may well have 2 more years of test cricket left in him but what good is that when The Sri Lankan board have only arranged 2 tests in the next year.if he plays for 2 years he is probably only going to have only 8 to 10 tests to play in. This is not enough for him to even get to 13,000 runs. why should he want to carry on with no incentive because of not enough tests to play? all he can do by playing on is to see his average decline, as it inevitably will. his average now is 58.76. when You have a very high average in the case of virtually all players it declines usually quite sharply in the last few years of your test career.(only 2 or 3 exceptions) Ricky Pontings average dropped from 58 to 51. I would love to see him retire as soon as his standards start to drop. I dont want to see him finish up with 12,500 runs and an average down below 56.I dont think he will go on long as soon as his average starts to drop.

  • on August 18, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    Sangakkara has overtaken Dravid...RAHUL DRAVID in the number of test runs!!! This guy deserves huge respect specially considering him coming from a small nation. Also Mahela

  • Udendra on August 18, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    He really should have kept that bat down. Has stirred a hornet's nest.

  • on August 18, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    Pl Sanga DON'T! and u got lot more years! and Andrew pl don't .....

  • johnathonjosephs on August 18, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    You need to bring in Chandimal as a specialist batsman for Mahela. He is the only one who has been given the exposure and has the potential to fill in his shoes. I would like to see Kaushal Perera in the side and for Tharanga to either go (his technique needs some severe improvement) or move down the order. Vithanage has potential but really, SLC needs to start looking for a Sanga replacement. I think Matthews should definitely move up the order as he will give a lot more stability to the top order

  • on August 18, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    man dont give us a heart attack...

  • priya65 on August 18, 2014, 5:59 GMT

    Sanga is smart.. He will not retire and put the country in jeopardy. He cares for the team a lot . Both Sanga and Mahela took us beyond 1996 Arjuna era in which Big brother Arjuna was calling the shots. After that Sanath, Marvan Mahela and Sanga all of them were comrades. Mahela and Sanga took us beyond that coming of age that occurred in 1996. They matcheed calss with class, and word with word. They went through a shooting incident in Pakistan. Still didn't shy away from national duty at any stage. wish you well Mahela ! Wish you many more doubles and may be a quadruple century ( hopefully against Aus ). About the two of you we will tell our grand children for sure.

  • madaks on August 18, 2014, 5:38 GMT

    sanga has to play with Chandimal some time. Chandimal is the only and best replacement for Mahela. He has to learn lot from Sanga. Please don't retire sanga.

  • 9ST9 on August 18, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    For the sake of SL cricket. Sangakkara the best test-bat ever produced by SL should hang around for a couple more years. There is promise, Kaushal Silva has a future, Matthews is already an established batsman, and I'm pretty sure if Chandimal is handle correctly he too will rise up. But all this needs guding, and Sangakkara's presence is a must.

  • Rosh1 on August 18, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    @Cannuk... I agree with you 100%.

  • Sexysteven on August 18, 2014, 4:15 GMT

    Nows not the right time for sanga to retire just after Mahela has retired sanga is smart enough to know that hopefully for the good of Sri Lankan cricket he should play for at least 1or hopefully 2 more years to help Angelo along and hopefully help the young players to come in to settle in and get comfortable before he leaves and let's Angelo take full control of the team

  • SLSup on August 18, 2014, 3:39 GMT

    My reaction to muzika_tchaikovskogo: WHAT SRT record are we talking about? The one it took SRT 200 Tests to get to? Haha. FYI there was a comparison made by Dean Jones during the Galle Test as to where ALL of the modern greats stood at 127 Test mark (that was Sanga's 127 Test). The closest to Sanga was Lara and he wasn't that close. SRT occuplied a pathetic low. NOW...

    ...I have a question for you. Considering Sanga is so far ahead of SRT at the 12,000 run mark in Tests... what took SRT 73 Tests to score those 3000+ runs he is now ahead of Sangakkara?

    And that without saying a thing about SRTs career average of 53 whereas Sangakkara averages MORE than that in his AWAY Tests! Ideally that should mean to you Sanga is as good as SRT playing AWAY as SRT was playing home OR away! Aahhhhh....

  • SLSup on August 18, 2014, 3:31 GMT

    Perhaps Andrew Fernando himself was responsible for the rumours based on what he wrote yesterday right after the 4th day. I thought it was all absurd because Sangakkara is not Lillee, Chappell, and Marsh type of guy. For someone who'd represented his country, the game, and himself with such DISTINCTION would not walk away from the same set of responsibilities knowing that a young Angelo Matthews must now look to solidify the #4 slot with someone in Mahela's absence. That would have been INDEFENSIBLE.

    Considering SL selectors will allow Sangakkara his own discretion as to when he may retire (who would want a guy averaging nearly 60 every time he walks out to retire?) it is likely he will make that decision when SL has made some strides in solidifying its middle order in Tests. Given these factors that are patently obvious, WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would have considered Sangakkara was about to retire too?! SOME apparently did. Hmmm....

  • Poholiyadda on August 18, 2014, 3:23 GMT

    If Sanga retires before grooming a quality young btsaman to bat at either no 3 or 4 positions, Sri Lankan cricket will go back to the late eighties and early nineties where Sri Lanka had top order batsman who averages around thirty. Mathews is the only international quality batsman they have found in last few years with Chandimal who still averages 45 in tests has the potential to become a top quality batsman.

  • Cannuck on August 18, 2014, 3:17 GMT

    I think Sanga has played his last test in Sri Lanka. He will announce his retirement from tests during or before the NZ series. That's my opinion for these reasons. 1. He didn't do it now to be fair for his buddy Maiya. 2. Without MJ's support, Sanga has little chance of surviving the wrath of SLC secretary on war path, before being pushed off. He knows this as he complained even recently about the way he was "ill treated" when he had to chose for Champions tourney. 3. As Andrew pointed out, he is sort of aloof with the SL's common man. So retiring in NZ without fan fair won't effect him that much. He raised his bat, knowing that was probably his last in SL. He will deny this now to not let the cat our of the bag, but with no other tests for a year, & him planning to retire from ODI after WC, I do not see him hanging around just to play one or two tests, which if he fails will also bring his average down. So he will retire on top, prematurely, without fan fair to avoid the blade of NR!

  • cric1965 on August 18, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    Sanga is in peak of his career now. No player ever had retired when he was in peak form. So I think Sanga will not take foolish decisions. He knows what time he has to retire. Until he is in good fitness and form he can continue. But If he continue few more years he will break Sachin,s test hundred and centuries record also.

  • Cricketluv on August 18, 2014, 1:58 GMT

    No Never, He has two years more to retire. Be the STONE until Thiri and Chandimal start believe in themselves and be ready to follow the the footsteps of Sanga and Maiya.

  • Sinhabahu on August 18, 2014, 0:39 GMT

    @Prabhakar Muthukrishnan, speaking of objective comparisons, how many Test double centuries has Sachin scored?

  • spellbinder76 on August 17, 2014, 23:48 GMT

    Pakistan will lose because of poor selection. Khurram Manzoor and A.Rahman were poor choices. Zulfikar Baber or Atif Maqsood are much better bowlers and Fawad Alam a much better batsman moreover he is also a left hander, the best fielder and also a bowler. Fawad lost four years of his prime cricket because of selector M. Ilyas who resigned under CS Mohsin Khan because Fawad Alam was selected for the SA tour. Since then it has been Imran Farhat and Kamran Akmal in the team and Fawad Alam and Sarfaraz Ahmad out of the team. Your guess is as good as mine why he Fawad is getting this shabby treatment. In the worst selection in cricket history Shahid Afridi was dropped and Imran Farhat was selected for the Champion Trophy series in England in 2013.

  • Mutukisna on August 17, 2014, 21:04 GMT

    @muzika and Prabhakar, you are both absolutely right. It is impossible for any cricketer to beat Tendulkar's record of the highest number of runs. The only way to achieve that as was proved by SRT, is to start Test cricket at the age of 14 or 15 and carry on playing to the age of 40, and even then prolong one's playing career by postponing one's retirement in order to achieve the landmark of 100 first class centuries! Sangakkara started at a later age and his appearances in Tests are also limited because Sri Lanka played and still play fewer test matches than the Big Test playing countries .His performance has brought immense joy to us Sri Lankan fans with an average close to 60, only bettered by Bradman and perhaps, Graeme Pollock whose career was cut short for political reasons.

  • KeshavPagar on August 17, 2014, 20:44 GMT

    He will retire in 2 yes max and his avg will be down below 55 after playing newzeland

  • Agnar on August 17, 2014, 20:44 GMT

    Sangakkara is smart enough to do the right thing for him and the team. Sangakkara and Mahela both are greats, but Sri Lankan team have to and will do fine without both of them when Sangakkara retires. Many predicted the downfall of Sri Lankan team without Murali, Vass, and other great Sri Lankan players. But Sri Lanka is still playing wonderful cricket and I am hopeful that they will continue to shine brightly in the future also.

  • Herath-UK on August 17, 2014, 19:58 GMT

    Mahela retiring now will ease his mind & silence some critics too.It is good he has no outings in NZ but if Sanga is still firing as he is now,I would say Mahela can come back for the home test series next year,he has plenty of time to see how good he would think he will be then;donot forget he has a few more catches only to beat Dravid to be on the very top & only a few more runs eg around five hundred with Sanga to become the best combination.He returned as captain & why not he copy the chief selector,Jayasuriya who returned after retirement.

  • johnathonjosephs on August 17, 2014, 19:53 GMT

    Sangakkara will at least stay until the NZ test series which is in NZ and in 9 months. It very may well be his last innings in Sri Lanka. I genuinely think that Sangakkara has 2-3 years more left in him, but if Sri Lanka gets a test series every 9 months, that doesn't mean much. I wish the ICC would make it more equal. There is a popular game out called Don Bradman 2014 and in it, all the Test playing nations play a tour of a country equally (including Bangladesh) for 5 tests, 5 ODIs, and 5 T20s. I sometimes wish would happen in real life

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on August 17, 2014, 19:19 GMT

    @Farooq3: Sanga doesn't stand a chance of breaking SRT's record. He's nearly 4000 short of the record. With Sri Lanka's spartan schedule, he'll need at least 5 more years to do that. Don't see him lasting that long.

  • vishwa1111 on August 17, 2014, 19:17 GMT

    No mahela no leader..no Sanga no runs....So we will loss

  • on August 17, 2014, 18:46 GMT

    srilanka are playing very few test matches thats the sadest part of ICC... there is no equality... some countries are playing more and some are less... it doesnt happen like this in football... Every country is equal in football hence this game is popular in the whole world... Maria Sharapova will not be making comments like that against a footballer.... the reason is obvious..

  • on August 17, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    @ Farooq3 It seems that ordinary fans, more so than pundits or players are the ones most obsessed by records. A lot of SRT worshippers breathed a sigh of relief when Kallis retired. Why do you think Kallis retired when he had so many records within his reach (catches, sixes, 300 wkts) and a little further along, the SRT records? He was mentally and physically worn out. The same will happen to Sanga at some point. Sanga averages 90 runs per. test. He is 4000 runs behind SRT, which means at the current rate it will take him another 44 tests to get the record. Can you really see him playing for another seven years?

  • BlakeHoulihan on August 17, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    I want Sangakkara to retire when he averages 60. Then he can be genuinely compared to Tendulkar.

  • on August 17, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    @Farooq3. Do a fair open minded objective comparison. Sangakkara for all his greatness, has scored 1 century in Australia, 1 in South Africa ( in his 4th visit to the country), and 2 in England ( the 2nd of which in his 4th visit to the country). Sachin Tendulkar scored 2 centuries in Australia, 1 in South Africa and 1 in England, before he was 20!!! Moreover, Sangakkara has also scored only one ton in India and none in West Indies in his whole career, even though these two places have some of the flattest tracks.

  • on August 17, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    Common Sanga. You guys are giving us heart attacks. Just play the tests for next 3 years and gain your true triumph and may be complete a few new frontiers with this young team. We need you so so badly. And the World cricket needs you even more.

  • Damian123 on August 17, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    @Charindra: I don't think anyone other than the person concerned should decide when to retire and you can't call that stupid or selfish. If you like Sanga, show some respect to his wishes. You kidding? Mahela on the wane? Check his Test record for 2014. I'm sure there will not be any more Tests in SL with Sanga. He will retire after NZ Tests.

  • on August 17, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    Sanga don't do it. :( :'(

  • Philip_Gnana on August 17, 2014, 17:30 GMT

    The fear of losing the best players who have brought much pride to the people and raised the country's profile would have been a bit to hard to take. One gone surely not both is it? This panic and disappointment had got to the fans. Thankfully it is not so. Other than Mathews there is no real promise in the younger players coming through, based on consistency. A great game, played in the greatest of spirit, by two sides that know each other too well. The respect that they have for each others shows through the warmth displayed too. Losing Murali was a big blow. When Sanga calls it a day, it will have a similar effect too. Surrey.

  • Farooq3 on August 17, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    If only wishes could be horses . . . .

    This article seems to be written by someone who wants SRT's record to stand at all costs - even if it means sacrificing the career of an all time great who stands head and shoulders above all other batsmen that have scored more than 10,000 runs (SRT included!).

  • on August 17, 2014, 17:06 GMT

    oh NO NO No plz sanga don't do it

  • Charindra on August 17, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    Phew! I can breathe easy now. Sanga has at least a good 2 years of test cricket left in him, and probably 3. Mahela was on the wane, but Sanga is at his peak now. Would be stupid and selfish to retire.

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  • Charindra on August 17, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    Phew! I can breathe easy now. Sanga has at least a good 2 years of test cricket left in him, and probably 3. Mahela was on the wane, but Sanga is at his peak now. Would be stupid and selfish to retire.

  • on August 17, 2014, 17:06 GMT

    oh NO NO No plz sanga don't do it

  • Farooq3 on August 17, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    If only wishes could be horses . . . .

    This article seems to be written by someone who wants SRT's record to stand at all costs - even if it means sacrificing the career of an all time great who stands head and shoulders above all other batsmen that have scored more than 10,000 runs (SRT included!).

  • Philip_Gnana on August 17, 2014, 17:30 GMT

    The fear of losing the best players who have brought much pride to the people and raised the country's profile would have been a bit to hard to take. One gone surely not both is it? This panic and disappointment had got to the fans. Thankfully it is not so. Other than Mathews there is no real promise in the younger players coming through, based on consistency. A great game, played in the greatest of spirit, by two sides that know each other too well. The respect that they have for each others shows through the warmth displayed too. Losing Murali was a big blow. When Sanga calls it a day, it will have a similar effect too. Surrey.

  • on August 17, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    Sanga don't do it. :( :'(

  • Damian123 on August 17, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    @Charindra: I don't think anyone other than the person concerned should decide when to retire and you can't call that stupid or selfish. If you like Sanga, show some respect to his wishes. You kidding? Mahela on the wane? Check his Test record for 2014. I'm sure there will not be any more Tests in SL with Sanga. He will retire after NZ Tests.

  • on August 17, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    Common Sanga. You guys are giving us heart attacks. Just play the tests for next 3 years and gain your true triumph and may be complete a few new frontiers with this young team. We need you so so badly. And the World cricket needs you even more.

  • on August 17, 2014, 17:47 GMT

    @Farooq3. Do a fair open minded objective comparison. Sangakkara for all his greatness, has scored 1 century in Australia, 1 in South Africa ( in his 4th visit to the country), and 2 in England ( the 2nd of which in his 4th visit to the country). Sachin Tendulkar scored 2 centuries in Australia, 1 in South Africa and 1 in England, before he was 20!!! Moreover, Sangakkara has also scored only one ton in India and none in West Indies in his whole career, even though these two places have some of the flattest tracks.

  • BlakeHoulihan on August 17, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    I want Sangakkara to retire when he averages 60. Then he can be genuinely compared to Tendulkar.

  • on August 17, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    @ Farooq3 It seems that ordinary fans, more so than pundits or players are the ones most obsessed by records. A lot of SRT worshippers breathed a sigh of relief when Kallis retired. Why do you think Kallis retired when he had so many records within his reach (catches, sixes, 300 wkts) and a little further along, the SRT records? He was mentally and physically worn out. The same will happen to Sanga at some point. Sanga averages 90 runs per. test. He is 4000 runs behind SRT, which means at the current rate it will take him another 44 tests to get the record. Can you really see him playing for another seven years?