Sri Lanka news April 5, 2011

Sangakkara steps down as ODI and T20 captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kumar Sangakkara has stepped down as captain of Sri Lanka's ODI and T20 teams but has offered to continue as the Test captain on an interim basis for the forthcoming series against England and Australia "if this is considered helpful for the new captain". He will continue as a player in all formats of the game.

His decision, revealed on Tuesday, comes days after he led Sri Lanka to the World Cup final. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews are among those tipped to take charge of the limited-overs' sides, while Thilan Samaraweera is being discussed as an option to lead the Test team.

Sangakkara was the third highest scorer in the 2011 World Cup and scored 48 in their defeat to India in the final.

"I would like to announce that after careful consideration I have concluded that it is in the best long-term interests of the team that I step down now as national captain so that a new leader can be properly groomed for the 2015 World Cup in Australia", a statement from Sangakkara said.

"This was a decision I made prior to the 2011 World Cup. I will be 37 by the next World Cup and I cannot therefore be sure of my place in the team. It is better that Sri Lanka is led now by a player who will be at the peak of their career during that tournament.

"It has been a true honour and a great privilege to serve my country as captain during the past two years and, although bitterly disappointed that we could not win the final, I am very proud of the performances of the team.

"I met with the selectors on Monday and I explained my reasons for my decision and I assured them of my fullest support in helping our new captain settle into the leadership.

"In this regard, I have offered to continue as the Test captain for the forthcoming series with England and possibly Australia if the selectors believe this would help the new captain and aid the transition.

"I have no plans of retirement from international cricket at this stage and subject to form and fitness I would like to be considered for selection in all three formats of the game for the foreseeable future. "

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  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 6:35 GMT

    Hets off man the great Ambassador of our country. he is not only the good captain but also good leader like arjuna who stand for his men. we have to get some of 8 years to get top in wc after aravinda,arjuna and some players retirement in 2000's. we have to work and and find new telents like murali,malinga ,sanga.mahela. fast of 5 years we able to find and bring only mathiwes. theirs much work to do in future..... country needs good brains and good cricketers who loves our country to manage Bord of cricket in sri lanka.what i consider that sanga should remain as caption another 2 years to keep mathiwes as vice caption. we have to play different cricket in next WC at auss. lets find shoutable players for that condition.i hope now we have to think about 20 20 WC and become 1st place in test. we can do that. everything will be fine if with out political interfere.

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    Gutted after the final and this news comes as a real shocker to all cricket lovers.Mahela and Sanga has been great Ambassadors for SL cricket and great examples for all young players who wants to come up in the ranks and take our national pride further.Dilshan will not fit and to justify Sangas decision it should go to Mathews who looks more promising.hats off to both of u guys and we all wanted to see tons and tons of runs.

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 4:27 GMT

    Did we put too much pressure on Sanga. It's not easy to find a right person at the moment. But we will see. A kind of dissapointed.

  • Nalin on April 7, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    God Bless you boys, Sanga you are immortal

  • Faisal on April 7, 2011, 6:40 GMT

    Assalam o Alaikum to all Well he is a genius. I don't have words to praise him (probably my english is not too good as well) I am a Pakistani but I love Srilankan cricket to an extreme extent, they have been great since 1996. I have been so emotional about Srilanka that I follow each and every match they play and against Pakistan I used to support Srilanka so madly and emotionaly that even the Srilankans can not afford to do that. Specially in the late 90's and early 2000's I was so mad and fierce about cricket. May Allah give the Srilankan Cricket heights they really deserve.

  • sudeep on April 7, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    I don't think this is a wise decision form Sanga. He got lot to offer to the sri lankan team and should carry on for another couple of year. Then pass it to Mathews.

  • Dummy4 on April 7, 2011, 2:08 GMT

    good decision -- always quit when you have handful of chips :)

  • Rajaram on April 6, 2011, 18:50 GMT

    I think there is more to it than meets the eye. Could it be that Kumar Sangakara, Mahela Jayawardene and Aravinda DSilva, WERE FORCED to make 3 unnecessary changes from the winning combination that consistently demolished the other Teams? Sangakara's post toss sppech and glum face said it all .It's not like him to sound defeatist even wefore the match started.

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    I salute to my great team players. Sanga, Mahela and rest of the team mates were played so well. I'm so disappointed when Sanga resigned from captaincy. well even we did not win the world cup, but they tried their best. I hope we will win next world cup with team spirit. Sanga tried to give his captaincy to youngsters to motivate our team. the best example of matured cricketer is Sanga ever. Mahela too. Respect our team and our players. HATS OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    His thinking is fantastic. it is good senior step down allowing youngsters chance. New faces bring light to the game. veterans how much they play well should step down gradually, Sanga is example. it is very nice attitude. Sri lanka may face challenges but this is the right way.New faces should emerge. I am sure we have people as always the case was for last 2 decades.

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