Sing a Song For Sanga

One of the interesting sub-stories of the Boxing Day Test held at the ‘G’ (because ‘MCG’ apparently wasn’t short enough) is that it represents an excellent opportunity for Kumar Sangakkara to become just the 11th Test batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs, joining the following list of prolific willow twirlers and successful oak yielders:

SR Tendulkar (India) 15645
RT Ponting (Aus) 13378
R Dravid (India) 13288
JH Kallis (SA) 12980
BC Lara (WI) 11953
AR Border (Aus) 11174
SR Waugh (Aus) 10927
S Chanderpaul (WI) 10696
DPMD Jayawardene (SL) 10671
SM Gavaskar (India) 10122

There is an argument that Kumar Sangakkara eclipses all of these; in fact he might just be the best batsman in the world post Don Bradman. Delving into his statistics, when he has not adorned the wicket keeping gloves he averages 67 with the bat (across 68 Tests), with a century every three Tests. He wasn’t too shabby before he gave up keeping, averaging just over 40 (by comparison the best current keeper/batsman Matt Prior averages 43), but since hanging up his gloves he has made a habit of being by far and away the world’s most prolific bat. In total he’s racked up 30 Test Centuries and, more impressively compared to compatriot Mahela Jayawardene, 12 of them have come abroad.

His most memorable knock came at Hobart in 2007: in a losing cause he amassed over 240 runs including a second innings rearguard of 192 against Stuart Clark, Brett Lee and Stuart Macgill. It was pure belligerence, and no little craft. He’s also biffed a superb 287 against South Africa, making Steyn and Ntini sweat in Colombo. In all, his stats mean that he’ll certainly go down as a legend of Sri Lanka; looking deeper into them and also his general demeanour, he should be a worldwide legend of this era at the very least.

As for that demeanour thing I just spewed into the end of that last paragraph, Sangakkara is one of Test cricket’s good eggs, very traditionalist in his views and well capable of spanking out fantastic speeches in his second language with eloquence and genuine intelligence. The following speech at the MCC Spirit of Cricket lecture is widely heralded (parts 2 & 3 also available on Youtube) as the greatest they’ve ever been given. Enjoy!


About wrongunatlongon

I'll muse on various subjects, mainly involving willow, leather and grass. My natural instincts is to heap as many compound adjectives as I can to sporting natterings. If you like, then feel free to link :)
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2 Responses to Sing a Song For Sanga

  1. Pingback: Boxing Day Test – and other cricket traditions « Thoughts of a Cricket Addict

  2. Alex Britten says:

    Kumar really is one of my heroes. His grace when driving is surely going to be one of the enduring batting memories of the ‘noughties’!

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