Kumar Sangakkara — Kumar Chokshanada Sangakkara is a Sri Lankan cricketer and captain of the Sri Lanka national cricket team. He is a left-handed top-order batsman. He used to play as a wicket-keeper and top-order batsman in all forms of the game, but has stopped doing so in Tests as his batting average is significantly higher in Tests when he plays as a pure batsman. He is currently the third ranked Test batsman in the world.
Sangakkara began his career as a batsman but subsequently became a wicket-keeper. His batting has developed to such an extent that he once topped the LG ICC Test batting rankings. However, in 2006 he gave the gloves to Prasanna Jayawardene in Tests and has since played as a specialist batsman. He remains Sri Lanka’s wicket-keeper in One Day International and Twenty20 cricket. As of September 2009, he was ranked 1st on the Test batting rankings. Sangakkara peaked at 6th on the ICC all-time Test batting rankings.
Sangakkara likes to hit the ball square of the wicket on the off-side and upon making a century, consistently continues on past 150. On the 6 December 2007 he was named as the new Number 1 batsman in the LG ICC Test player rankings with a rating of 938, the highest rating ever achieved by a Sri Lankan player, and became the first batsman ever to score in excess of 150 in four consecutive tests. His skill was recognized worldwide when he earned selection for the ICC World XI One International Day team that competed against Australia in the Johnnie Walker Series in October 2005. He holds the record for fastest 8000 runs (152 innings) in Test cricket. He broke the previous record set by Sachin Tendulkar (154 innings) during the third test against India on 6 August 2010. Despite the World XI losing all of the one-day games by considerable margins, Sangakkara left the series with some credit, averaging 46.
Sangakkara was billed as a future captain of Sri Lanka. On Sri Lanka’s tour to England in May 2006, he was named the vice-captain of the side. In March 2009 he was appointed to captain the Sri Lankan team for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20. Sangakkara has won a certain degree of admiration for his clever use of sledging and is one of few cricketers who are willing to talk about it openly.
- Made his ODI debut in 2000, scoring his first two ODI centuries against Pakistan and Kenya in Sharjah in April 2003.
- Became Sri Lanka’s captain prior to the ICC World Twenty20 2009.
- Played in the 2003 and 2007 editions of the ICC CWC events.
- He is a Think Wise Champion for ICC’s partnership with UNAIDS and UNICEF to raise awareness of HIV.