Tuesday 5 April 2011 

Sangakkara Resigns Sri Lankan Captaincy

Sangakkara Resigns Sri Lankan Captaincy
Sangakkara Resigns Sri Lankan Captaincy
© REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte (SRI LANKA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET IMAGES OF THE DAY) Picture Supplied by Action Images
 

Kumar Sangakkara has confirmed he is to resign as captain of the Sri Lankan national team, his decision coming just days after he led the side to the final of the 2011 World Cup.

He scored 48 before they were beaten by six wickets by India in Mumbai and Sangakkara has chosen to draw a close to his two-year reign as skipper as make them 5/1 to win the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 and 11/2 to win the 2015 World Cup.

Although he is to retire as One-Day International and Twenty20 Internationalc captain with immediate effect, he has made himself available to lead the Test team for upcoming series with Australia and England.

A statement from Sangakkara explaining the decision and his reasons behind it read as follows:

"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 am also very grateful for the wonderful support received from Sri Lankan fans all around the world. Our supporters were a source of great inspiration before, during and after the tournament and I know all the players are extremely thankful for this.

"I met with the selectors on Monday 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.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team-mates and the coaching staff for their hard-work and support. I would also like to thank my wife Yehali, my young twins and family for being willing to sacrifice so much to allow me to lead the team."

Sangakkara took over as national captain in 2009 following Mahela Jaywardene's decision to stand down, leading the side to the final of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009, the semi-finals of the same tournament in 2010, the Asia Cup final in 2010, and finally the World Cup final in Mumbai.

He captained his country 80 times in all, winning 44 matches in all three formats.

© Cricket World 2011