Sangakkara stands down
Kumar Sangakkara has resigned as captain of Sri Lanka’s one-day and Twenty20 sides and outlined his intention to relinquish the captaincy of the Test team in the near future.
The 33-year-old has offered to continue as Test skipper for the series against England and Australia while the selectors find a successor across all formats, but will not lead the sides in shorter versions of the game with immediate effect.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Sangakkara was one of Sri Lanka’s stars at the World Cup, where they finished as runners-up to India on Saturday.
In a statement released on the Sri Lanka Cricket website, Sangakkara said: “I would like to announce that after careful consideration I have concluded that it is in the best long-term interests of the team that I step down now as national captain so that a new leader can be properly groomed for the 2015 World Cup in Australia.
“This was a decision I made prior to the 2011 World Cup. I will be 37 by the next World Cup and I cannot therefore be sure of my place in the team. It is better that Sri Lanka is led now by a player who will be at the peak of their career during that tournament.
“It has been a true honour and a great privilege to serve my country as captain during the past two years and, although bitterly disappointed that we could not win the final, I am very proud of the performances of the team.
“I met with the selectors yesterday and I explained my reasons for my decision and I assured them of my fullest support in helping our new captain settle into the leadership.
“In this regard, I have offered to continue as the Test captain for the forthcoming series with England and possibly Australia if the selectors believe this would help the new captain and aid the transition.
“I have no plans of retirement from international cricket at this stage and, subject to form and fitness, I would like to be considered for selection in all three formats of the game for the foreseeable future.”
Sangakkara was named captain in March 2009, succeeding Mahela Jayawardene, and has since earned a reputation as one of the most dignified figures in the world game. He is also an outstanding player, averaging over 57 in 94 Tests and 38 in 291 ODIs.
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews are among those tipped to take charge of the limited-overs sides, while Thilan Samaraweera is being discussed as an option to lead the Test team.