02 March, 2021

Rana Sanga

Sangakkara rocketed faster as he knelt and square-drove the years—a modern colossus, cricket’s own statesman

Rana Sanga

Great sportspersons inevitably leave behind a legacy. In the case of most, this is easily measured; by runs or goals scored, wicket taken, matches won.... But in the case of a few, such measures become wholly inadequate. Even if seen from the prism of only the first one, Kumar Sangakkara’s achievements are mon­­umental. Before his farewell Test against India, he was the fifth highest run-getter in Test history (12,350), fourth highest century maker (38), and had the tenth best average (57.71). These amazing Test statistics alone would embed him deeply in the highest echelons of the sport. Add to this his wondrous exploits in limited-overs cricket and Sangakkara emerges without doubt as a once-in-a-lifetime cricketer.

But to assess him only on the basis of statistics is not just restrictive, but a tra­vesty, for Sangakkara’s been a near-transcendental figure on the Sri Lankan psyche. He epitomised not just cricketing excellence but, through a strenuous and prolonged process of self-actualisation, gave pride, aspiration, hope, expression and...

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