‘Every Sri Lankan should be proud of Sanga’


India team director Ravi Shastri has paid a glowing tribute to Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara as he prepares to play his final match in international cricket, with Shastri saying he has been a fantastic ambassador for the game of cricket.

Sri Lanka face India in the second Test of the three-match series, starting in Colombo on Thursday, as the 37 year-old Sangakkara draws a curtain on his glittering career.

Sangakkara will bow out of international cricket after playing in his 134th Test and scoring more than 12000 runs in the whites of Sri Lanka at an average of more than 56.

Shastri, who is also a commentator, has followed the left-hander's career since he made is international debut in the year 2000.

A former allrounder who played in 80 Tests for India, Shastri said: "I saw him from his first game. I was commentating on that game when he played and he is still around. He broke into being one of the top two or three players and he never got out of that.

"There might have been a one year or a six-month period where his form might have dipped. But otherwise, for sheer consistency, he is unmatched.

"There are very few players who fall in that list. You can bring Sachin Tendulkar in that league as the kind of player that once broke into the top two or three never moved out of there.

"Sangakkara's record shows you that. He has got runs the world over and scored double hundreds like it is a pass time. He is equal with Sir Donald Bradman.

"We love Sanga for the way he has entertained and he has been a fantastic ambassador for the game of cricket. That is a legacy that he will leave behind.

"I think every Sri Lankan should be proud of what he has achieved not just personally but the way he has conducted himself in going round the world as an international cricketer. You can call him as one of the statesmen of the modern game."