Sri Lanka news April 5, 2011

Sangakkara doesn't foresee leadership vacuum

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kumar Sangakkara has sought to allay fears that there will be a vacuum left in the leadership of the Sri Lankan team after his resignation from captaincy by saying that there was no dearth of men who could take up the role. "I think we have Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews. We have Lasith Malinga and Upul Tharanga for the shorter versions," Sangakkara said. "We have enough candidates to pick from."

Given that the coach's position is also currently vacant, Sangakkara said that this was the right time for a change of captain. "I think the job now is to select a long-term candidate who is able to leave his own mark on Sri Lankan cricket and build the team he wants to build. Also we will be appointing a new coach so it will be nice if everyone starts afresh.

"I think as a cricket playing country this is the time that we have to plan for the future and the future starts now. Not in another six months' time, not in another year, especially if you are building towards the World Twenty20 and the 2015 World Cup. When a World Cup ends, it's time for a change in leadership."

Sangakkara, along with Mahela Jayawardene, has been the face of Sri Lankan cricket over the past few years, and he seamlessly took over the captaincy from Jayawardene in 2009. Sangakkara felt that the mantle of Sri Lankan cricket now rightfully belonged to the younger generation and that is where the new leader would have to come from. "If you really look at our side, me and Mahela, we are, maybe, a few remnants of a past era. New blood has come in and a lot of younger players have stood up and have been counted. So I think now it's their time, it's there future and they need to make sure that they carry this team forward.

"If I had stayed in the job for another year, maybe a year-and-a-half, the new thinking, the freshness wouldn't have been there. That's why I think it's the right time."

Sangakkara had taken the chairman of selectors, Aravinda de Silva, into confidence about three weeks prior to the World Cup about his decision. "I spoke to Aravinda de Silva about it and we didn't want to make any formal announcement or anything at that time because that would have been detrimental to our World Cup effort. And whether we had gone out of the first round of the World Cup or whether we had gone all the way, it wouldn't have mattered, this decision would have still stood.

"We announce it now because I leave for the IPL tomorrow and I need to make sure that the selectors have enough time."

Muttiah Muralitharan was the first person in the team to know about Sangakkara's decision, even before he had conveyed it to de Silva. "I shared it with most of my close associates in the team. Murali and Mahela knew about this long before we started playing the World Cup. Murali always supported me in this decision.

"I shared it with my team over the last few days and they understand why my decision is being made. As a team, they feel very ready to embrace a new leader, a new captain, and support that person to the fullest."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    I dont think this is wish decision. kumar has lead country may be 2 or 3 years. is he tired? i dont know what happen to these guys include aravinda what heppend this much resigns almost 48 hours (back to back shocks). u would have to do this if we out of 1st round... telling this is the right time to fresh or anything... we did well in WC man. only we missed it out in final. nothing going ur way every day. its nature. u gays doing like this lead sl cricket in dark in future. sanga plz lead the team till 2015 like Asiss Captain Taylor did, keep mathews as ur vice like ponting get the cup we missed in 2011 then he will take it from there. in our team there only 6 men r settled players right this time. Dilshan,Tharanga,Sanga,Mahela and mathews.malinga. 5 spaces r available. plz look about that and find new talend. other whys this kind of resigns lead our cricket so dark like west Indies cricket. so plz think again plz

  • Rahul on April 7, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    Malinga and Dilshan are NOT options, so I don't know what Sanga is on about. Dilshan is older than him! So how would making him captain solve anything? As for Malinga, he himself has said that he does not see himself playing the next world cup because of fitness issues, so he's automatically out of the question. So that only leaves us with Matthews and Tharanga, and granted that they are both with very bright futures, but both also have a lot to learn in cricket let alone leading a side. Choosing between two players is hardly spoilt for choice as Sanga is showing.

  • Benu on April 7, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    Hey sanga hope the lankan team is indebted fr your services....any ways your killer instincts will be of great help when you take charge of the deccan chargers

  • Nalin on April 7, 2011, 8:37 GMT

    best front-foot player all time

  • Lakshmi Narasimhan on April 7, 2011, 3:47 GMT

    Now is the time. Sangakara was a gentleman when he said India deserved Winners. Who on this earth has that heart nowadays. Now again he has proved it. Who is next? Except Dilshan, Tharanga and Matthews no one actually is a permanent member of the side now. There is no option but to give the chance to one of these 3. I guess Tharanga will be a good choice than others. Mathews can establish himself in the team and then go for the Captaincy. Looking at long term now itself will not work for SL because there is no permanent member in the side. Dilshan is not a good captain either. Best choice is Tharanga as of now. After 1 year may be they can see who has performed well and hand it over to them.

  • Dummy4 on April 7, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    right now no one is der to replace sanga as captain, its bad for sl cricket

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    Bring back ChAMINDA VASS captain give him good farewell after 1 or 2 years

  • Irfan on April 6, 2011, 16:21 GMT

    next captain : Matthews Vice captain: Tharanga

  • Akheel on April 6, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    Sanga, You are a true leader and admire your openness.... Thanking you immensely for your services as Captain of did all of us proud!

  • Anthony on April 6, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    Mr Sangakkara, sad to see you resign from the captaincy but your decision to stand down must be respected. You played the game in the best traditions of it and played it hard but fair. You always walked when you knew you were out even before an umpire raised his finger and you immediately disclaimed a catch if it was not cleanly taken thereby obviating the need for a review. A shining example to all modern cricketers! You are a credit to the education system in Sri Lanka and a great advertisement of what is good in the country. An excellent communicator you will be sorely missed but your continued selection and presence in the SL team can only be beneficial to Sri Lanka cricket. This is not just my own view but it is that of most people I know. As regards the toss at the WC Final, a radio station's microphone had apparently picked up that you had also called correctly the first time. Good luck in your new role as a player in the team.

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