Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka's vice-captain and wicketkeeper, expects the big names playing their last World Cup to leave their mark on the tournament in the West Indies. Sangakkara picked out Sanath Jayasuriya, Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara as three to watch out for during the tournament, starting on March 13.
"I think people who are coming to the end of their careers are going to be the most dangerous players in this World Cup," he said during a programme jointly produced by Cricinfo and Times Now, an Indian television channel. "They will be just that bit hungrier to leave that little legacy, that little mark, that personal touch - like that was my World Cup.
Having observed his career for close to a decade, Sangakkara revealed Jayasuriya's attention to detail, a fact that goes unnoticed during his whirlwind knocks. "The final result - it looks as if he is a natural cricketer but he is the guy who has worked immensely on his technique to have that little base which lets him exploit and he will be really focused to make sure that he goes out in a blaze of glory.
"Sanath doesn't want to be in the shadow of any other batsmen in the world. To do that he has got to come out, improve and do the hard work. He is wiling to do the hard work and at 37 he is one of the fittest in the team, he is bowling, fielding well and he is batting for longer. Forty-five runs from Sanath make us win 75% of matches and that's why we look forward to Sanath giving us a start. Now we know that if he gets that start he goes on to make that big score."
He also mentioned two other batsmen in the twilight of their careers, who've both been regarded as the best of their generation. "Sachin Tendulkar, I can see him playing more cricketer but I don't know till when," he said. "It's upto the individual player to decide when you retire. But if you miss that window of opportunity to walk out when you are on top can be disappointing in the long run. Sachin has been a fantastic player over the years, a great batsman and an example to watch. He is going to be that much more focused to leave a mark.
"Brian Lara is another one, at home probably his last World Cup. I think people who are coming to the end of their careers are going to be the most dangerous players in this World Cup. Because they will be just that bit hungrier to leave that little legacy, that little mark, that personal touch - like that was my World Cup."