Kumar Sangakkara

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Kumar Sangakkara
කුමාර සංගක්කාර
Kumar Sangakkara bat in hand.JPG
Sangakkara in his final ODI in Sri Lanka
Personal information
Full name Kumara Chokshanada Sangakkara
Born (1977-10-27) 27 October 1977 (age 38)
Matale, Sri Lanka
Nickname Sanga
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Batting style Left hand bat
Bowling style Right arm off break
Role Wicket-keeper, Batsman
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 84) 20 July 2000 v South Africa
Last Test 20–24 August 2015 v India
ODI debut (cap 105) 5 July 2000 v Pakistan
Last ODI 18 March 2015 v South Africa
ODI shirt no. 11
T20I debut (cap 10) 15 June 2006 v England
Last T20I 6 April 2014 v India
Domestic team information
Years Team
1997–present Nondescripts
2008–2010 Kings XI Punjab
2007 Warwickshire
2011–2012 Deccan Chargers
2013 Sunrisers Hyderabad
2014 Durham
2015–present Surrey
2015–present Hobart Hurricanes
2015–present Dhaka Dynamites
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI T20I LA
Matches 134 404 56 512
Runs scored 12,400 14,234 1382 18,630
Batting average 57.40 41.98 31.40 43.02
100s/50s 38/52 25/93 0/8 36/116
Top score 319 169 78 169
Balls bowled 84 -
Wickets 0 -
Bowling average  – -
5 wickets in innings  – -
10 wickets in match  – -
Best bowling -
Catches/stumpings 182/20 402/99 25/20 509/124
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 01 Octomber 2015

Kumar “Sanga" Chokshanada Sangakkara (Sinhala: කුමාර සංගක්කාර; born 27 October 1977) is a former Sri Lankan cricketer and captain of the Sri Lankan national team. He is widely regarded as one of the world's most influential cricketers.[1][2] He has forged many formidable partnerships with long time team mate and friend, Mahela Jayawardene and holds numerous batting records in the modern era across all formats of the game.[1][3][4][5][6][7] He is second to Sachin Tendulkar for most international runs with 28,016.

A left-handed top-order batsman, he is also a record-breaking wicket-keeper, although he no longer keeps wickets at Test level. Currently, he is the second-highest run-scorer in ODI cricket and the fifth-highest run scorer in Test cricket.[8][9]

Sangakkara is described as one of the "most polished and prudent of batsmen" in cricket.[10][11] Along with AB de Villiers, he has dominated the number one spot in the ICC Test batting rankings over the past decade. On 12 August 2015, Sangakkara was placed at number 5 in the ICC Test rankings.[12]

Sangakkara was a key member of the team that won the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and was part of the team that made the final of the 2007 Cricket World Cup, 2011 Cricket World Cup, 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and 2012 ICC World Twenty20. He won the Man of the Match award in the final of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20, where he helped the team win their first title.

He was the youngest person and the first active international player to deliver Crowdrey lecture, which was widely praised by the cricketing community for its outspoken nature.[13][14]

In terms of number of innings required, Sangakkara is the fastest batsman to reach 8,000, 9,000, 11,000 and 12,000 runs in Test cricket. He is also joint fastest to 10,000.[15] He won the ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2012, Test Cricketer of the Year in 2012, and ODI Cricketer of the Year multiple times in 2011 and 2013.[16] He has also won the LG People's Choice Award twice, in 2011 and 2012. Sangakkara has regularly featured in the World Test XI and World ODI XI, appearing six times and three times in them, respectively. He was selected as Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2015 edition of Wisden.

He was named the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 2011 and 2015.[17][18] He is one of two players to have won this award twice, along with Indian opener Virender Sehwag, who won the award in 2008 and 2009.

On 29 January 2015, Sangakkara became Sri Lanka's highest ever ODI run scorer, surpassing the previous record of 13430 runs held by Sanath Jayasuriya. In the same match, he also broke the record for ODI wicketkeeping dismissals, breaking the previous record of 472 held by Adam Gilchrist.

Early life[edit]

Sangakkara was born to Kumari Surangana and Swarnakumara Sangakkara, an attorney-at-law at Matale, Sri Lanka in 1977.[19] His parents settled in Kandy, where he grew up in his childhood. Sangakkara received his primary and secondary education at Trinity College, Kandy, an independent elite private boys' school situated in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. He has two sisters: Thushari and Saranga, and an elder brother: Vemindra, all who have made national level achievements during their school-life. Sangakkara too started playing a number of sports: badminton, tennis, swimming, table tennis and cricket at the junior school. He was able to win national colours for badminton and tennis at his younger age. The then principal of the Trinity College, Leonard de Alwis, advised his mother to encourage Sangakkara to concentrate on cricket.[20]

His parents hid Tamil families during the Black July riots in 1983.[21]

He represented his school's under-13 cricket XI under coach Upananda Jayasundera.[19] Berty Wijesinghe coached Sangakkara for under-15, under-17, under-19 and first XI squads.[22] He was awarded The Trinity Lion, the most prestigious prize awarded to a Trinity sportsman, for his exceptional batting and wicket-keeping skills in the 1996 season, at the age of 19.[23] Sangakkara was selected to represent Sri Lanka A cricket team at a tour to South Africa in 1998–99. His knock of unbeaten 156 against Zimbabwe A team at a one-day match,[24] helped him secure a place at the Sri Lankan national cricket team later that year.

Sanga was the Senior Prefect (Head Boy) of school, he did his Advanced Level examination in the Arts stream in 1996. He was also awarded the highest honour of Trinity College, the Ryde Gold Medal, for the best all-round student in his year. Following his father, who is a lawyer in Kandy, he entered the Law Faculty of the University of Colombo, but was unable to finish his degree due to cricket tours.[25] Sangakkara was a chorister and played the violin during his school-days.[26] He was cited as an inspiration to continue his higher education by Bangladeshi captain Mushfiqur Rahim, upon receiving his master's degree:

It is appreciated that someone like Sangakkara's sports personality is shaped by his education. He is obviously an inspiration.[27]

International career[edit]

Early career[edit]


At the age of 22 Sangakkara made his Test debut on 20 July 2000, keeping wicket in the first fixture of a three-match series against South Africa. Sri Lanka won the match and in his side's only innings Sangakarra batted at the fall of the third wicket and scored 23 runs before he was dismissed leg before wicket by spin bowler Nicky Boje.[28] He made 35 runs in his One day cricket debut[29][30] against Pakistan and he received his first man of the match award in the 2nd match of the Singer Triangular Series, 2000, scoring 85 runs against South Africa.[31] He ended the series with 199 runs, at an average of 66.33, securing his place for the upcoming Test series against South Africa. Before reaching his first Test century, he was twice dismissed in the 90s, once against each of South Africa and England. In August 2001, India toured Sri Lanka for three Tests and in the opening match Sangakkara scored his first century.[32] His innings of 105 not out at number three helped set up a ten-wicket victory for Sri Lanka.[33] Later that year Sangakkara scored his second Test century, this time in the first of three matches against the touring West Indians.[34]

He scored his first double-century against Pakistan in 2002, at the 2nd Asian Test Championship final.[35] His performance helped Sri Lanka secure the Test championship. In April 2003, Sangakkara made his first ODI century against Pakistan, in a losing effort.[36] Together with Marvan Atapattu, he made a partnership of 438 for the 2nd wicket—4th highest in the world—against Zimbabwe in 2004.[37] In that game, he scored 270, his first 250+ score.[38] In July 2005, he was selected to the ICC World XI ODI team but missed out from its Test counterpart.

As vice-captain[edit]

Sangakkara (right) resigned the captaincy after the 2011 World Cup and was succeeded by Tillakaratne Dilshan (left).

When Sri Lanka toured Bangladesh in February 2006 regular captain Marvan Atapattu was injured and Mahela Jayawardene became captain while Sangakkara was made vice-captain.[39] Pakistan toured Sri Lanka for two Test and three ODIs in March 2006, and with Atapattu still injured Jayawardene and Sangakkara remained captain and vice-captain respectively.[40] The pair had only expected to hold the positions on an interim basis, but extended into a third series as Atapattu failed to recover in time to tour England in April and ended up filling the roles full-time.[41] In July 2006, Sangakkara made his second-highest Test score to-date (287) against South Africa. In a record-breaking partnership with Mahela Jayawardene, he set up the world record for the highset partnership in Test cricket—624 runs—in this match.[42]

On 6 December 2007 he made it to the top spot of ICC Test player rankings with a rating of 938, the highest rating ever achieved by a Sri Lankan player, and became the first batsman ever to score in excess of 150 in four consecutive tests.[19] His skill was recognised worldwide when he earned selection for the ICC World XI One Day International team that competed against Australia in the Johnnie Walker Series in October 2005. Despite the World XI losing all of the one-day games by considerable margins, Sangakkara left the series with some credit, averaging 46. He was one of the winners of the 2008 inaugural Cricinfo awards for outstanding batting in Test cricket.[43]

Sangakkara holds the record for being the fastest man to 8,000, 9,000, 10,000 (jointly held), 11,000 and 12,000 runs in Test cricket. During Sri Lanka's tour to England in May 2006, he was named the vice-captain of the side. On 3 March 2009, a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team convoy in Pakistan injured 6 Sri Lankan players including Sangakkara. Sangakkara suffered shrapnel wounds in his shoulder.[44] In November 2006, Sangakkara was included in the ICC World XI Test team. Next year, he signed an agreement to join Warwickshire County Cricket Club.[45] That year, he scored back-to-back double centuries in Tests and became only the fifth cricketer in the history to do so.[46]


Sangakkara's record as captain
  Matches Won Lost Drawn No result
Test[47] 15 5 3 7
ODI[48] 45 27 14 4
T20I[49] 21 12 9

In February 2009, the then captain of the Sri Lankan side, Mahela Jayawardene announced that he would step down from captaincy "in the best interests of the Sri Lankan team". He said he believed that it would give his successor around two years to build up to the 2011 Cricket World Cup.[50] Therefore, at the age of 31 and with the experience of 80 Tests and 246 ODIs, Sangakkara succeeded Jayawardene as Sri Lanka's captain in all formats of the game. His first engagement in the role was the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 hosted by England in June.[51] Sri Lanka became runners-up in the series after winning all the game in group and knock-out stages and being defeated by Pakistan in the final. Sangakkara made 64 not-out in the final, but was unable to take Sri Lanka for the championship.[52] Sri Lanka failed to reach to the knock-out stage of the ICC Champions Trophy in September 2009. The next Indian tour proved to be disastrous for the team, with Sri Lanka being beaten by India in Test series 2–0 and ODI series 3–1.

Sri Lankan team under the captaincy of Sangakkara gained momentum and won the next Tri-series in Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, beating India as well. The Sri Lankans' tour of Australia proved to be very successful, in winning both the T20 and ODI series. This was Sri Lanka's first ever series victory in Australia.[53]

A month in advance of the 2011 World Cup in March, Sangakkara decided that he would resign the captaincy after the tournament.[54] Sri Lanka reached the final of the tournament.[55] Throughout the tournament Sangakkara was in prolific form with the bat scoring 465 runs from 9 matches and was the third highest run scorer behind team-mate Tillakaratne Dilshan and India's Sachin Tendulkar. Days after guiding Sri Lanka to the finals of the World Cup, Sangakkara announced to the public he was stepping down as captain of the T20 and ODI teams. He offered to continue as Test captain if deemed necessary for transition to new skipper,[56] but Dilshan was appointed captain across all formats.[57] Reflecting on the decision afterwards, he said that "captaining Sri Lanka is a job that ages you very quickly ... It's rarely a job you will last long in ... I also had a two-year stint, and I enjoyed it at times, certainly on the field where our results showed we were one of the top two sides in the world for one-and-a-half years, especially in the shorter form of the game."[54]

The same year, he was named the ODI Cricketer of the Year at the ICC awards ceremony.[58] In 2012, he was honoured as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year.[59]


Sri Lanka's first fixture after the World Cup was a Sri Lanka tour of England in 2011 beginning in May. During the second match of a three Test series Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sangakkara's successor as captain, suffered a broken thumb. Sangakkara filled-in while Dilshan was off the pitch and formally assumed the captaincy for the final Test.[60][61] The match ended in a draw and the series ended in a 1–0 victory for England; Sangakarra scored a century in the match, his first against England in nine Tests.[62]

Sangakkara's results in international matches[63]
  Matches Won Lost Drawn Tied No result
Test[64] 134* 54 42 37 0
ODI[65] 404 217 167 - 2 17
T20I[66] 56 34 20 1 1

Sangakkara was named the man of the series in Test series with Pakistan in 2011/12—his first man of the series award in Test cricket. He made 516 runs in the 3 match series which was won by Pakistan 1–0.[67] On August in 2013, he was named the ODI Cricketer of the Year, wicket keeper-captain of the ICC World XI Test team, and won the ICC People's Choice Award in 2011 ICC Awards.[58] In 2012, he was named one of the Wisden's five Cricketer's of the Year.[59]

Sangakkara struggled when England toured Sri Lanka in 2012. He failed to score a half century during The Two Test match series. But he regained his form in the ODI series against Pakistan where he twice scored in the 90s. In the following Test series Sangakkara continued his form with a 199, the scoreboard originally said he had scored the double century but it turned out to be a mistake. Sri Lanka later won the Test match. He followed this up with 192 in the game, again missing out on the double century. Sri Lanka drew the next two matches meaning Sri Lanka won the series 1–0. The first time they won a Test series since the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan.

On the Sri Lankan tour of Bangladesh in 2014, Sangakarra hit his highest test score to date with 319 in the first innings of the second test.[68] Making him only the third Sri Lankan player to hit a triple century after Sanath Jayasuria and Mahela Jayawardena. He followed his triple century with a knock of 105 in the 2nd innings as game finished as a draw. He continued his good batting run with another century in the 2nd ODI.

Along with teammate Mahela Jayawardene, he recorded the most partnership runs for the 3rd wicket in Tests, scoring 5890 runs surpassing the 5826 runs of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, during the first Test match against Pakistan at Galle International Stadium. The two also hold the record for the highest partnership for any wicket in Test matches, scoring 624 runs for the 3rd wicket against South Africa in July 2006.[69] This still stands as the largest partnership for any wicket in first-class cricket, anywhere.[70]

His impressive form with the bat continued at the 2014 Asia Cup where he amassed a total of 245 runs in five innings. He started the tournament with a 63 against Pakistan before hitting a match winning 103 against India. He then added scores of 77 and 2 against Afghanistan and Bangladesh before being dismissed for a golden duck in the final against Pakistan. Sri Lanka went on to win the game and the tournament.[71]

Sangakkara decided to retire from T20 internationals after playing the 2014 ICC World Twenty20. Afterwards Jayawardene also followed him into retirement. Sangakkara under performed in the World T20, but in the final match against India, he scored 51 runs not out off just 33 balls making his team win their second ICC trophy since 1996.

Sri Lanka played their first 7-match ODI series at home, against England from 26 November to 16 December 2014. During the series, on 3 December 2014 he completed 13,000 runs in One-day internationals in the third match of the series at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium, Hambantota, and became the fourth player in one-day history to achieve that feat after Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, and Sanath Jayasuriya. He also became the second most prolific half-century maker in One-day internationals during this match. He scored 4 consecutive half-centuries followed by a century in this series. On 13 December 2014, he scored his 20th ODI century, became the second Sri Lankan to score 20 ODI centuries, after 28 by Sanath Jayasuriya, and 9th overall to do so. He also took 4 catches as a wicket-keeper in this match, became the player of the match.[72] This match was his last match in his home town, due to his retirement from ODI arena after 2015 Cricket World Cup.

His last One-Day innings in Sri Lanka was played on 13 December 2014 in the last match of England ODI series. He was caught on 33 in his last innings in home soil.[73]

Kumara Sangakkara batting against England in 2014 at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo

On 4 January 2015, Sangakkara scored his 38th test century by making 203 against New Zealand during the second match of the 2 test match series.[74] With this feat, he is only one short to become the highest double-century maker in test history. He has 11 test double centuries, only one short of 12 double centuries by Don Bradman.[75] He also surpassed 12,000 runs in test cricket, becoming the first Sri Lankan and 5th overall to achieve that mark.[76]

On 14 February 2015, Sangakkara became the second highest run scorer in One-Day International history, by surpassing Australian Ricky Ponting. He achieved this feat during the first match of 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup against New Zealand, but Sri Lanka lost the match.[77]

On 26 February 2015 in 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup against Bangladesh, Sangakkara scored his 22nd ODI century in his 400th appearance in One-Day Internationals. The 210* second wicket partnership between Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan on that day was broken again on 1 March 2015, in the next group match in World Cup against England, where Sangakkara joined Lahiru Thirimanne with 212* for the second wicket. Sangakkara scored his 23rd century in this match and this 70 ball century was his fastest century overall and the fastest century by a Sri Lankan in World Cups.[78][79]

During the same world cup, against Australia, when chasing massive 377 score, Sangakkara passed 14,000 ODI runs, becoming the first Sri Lankan and second overall to pass it.[80] He scored 124 runs in the next match against Scotland, becoming first batsman in World Cup history to score 4 consecutive hundreds.[81]

The last ODI innings of Sangakkara was disappointing from him and his teams' point of view, where Sri Lanka lost the quarter-final against South Africa on 18 March 2015. He only scored 45 runs, where it was Sri Lanka's first World Cup defeat in a quarter final after 1999. His team mate Mahela also retired from ODI career with this match.[82]


During the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 championship, Sangakkara announced his retirement from the Twenty20 International arena after the championship with his team mate Mahela. Then in December 2014, he announced that he would also retire from ODI cricket after the 2015 Cricket World Cup, again with Mahela. As he said, he retired from T20I cricket on April 2014 and from ODI cricket on 18 March 2015.[83]

On 1 April 2015, Sri Lanka's Sports Minister Navin Dissanayake stated that Sangakkara should reconsider his intention to retire in August 2015. He said that Sangakarra was disillusioned by some of the actions of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board in the past, and now that attempts have been made to change personnel and practices, Sangakkara should reconsider his decision. Sangakkara did not give an answer to the statement.[84]

On 27 June 2015, Sangakkara officially announced his retirement from Test cricket as well. He retired from Test cricket after the second Test match against India.[85][86] He scored 32 runs in the first innings and 18 in the second of his last test match and got out to Ravichandran Ashwin for the fourth consecutive time in the series. The P Sara Oval ground was decorated with numerous banners and posters of Sangakkara with messages such as "Thank You Sanga" and "Class Never Retires".[87] His teammates including Mahela, Thilan Thushara, and Sanath Jayasuriya, Murali came to the ground to farewell Sangakkara. Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation recognized Sangakkara as the "Player of the Century" citing many of Sangakkara's past memories and achievements.

After the conclusion of the second test, a special farewell presentation was held for Sangakkara with the presence of President Maithreepala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, former Sri Lankan Test captain Arjuna Ranatunga, former Indian Test captain Sunil Gavaskar, and several cricket celebrities. Several momentous were given for the behalf of his cricket career and Gavaskar invited him to the former cricketer's club.[88][89] Indian captain Virat Kohli described Sangakkara as "a lovely person".[90] President Sirisena offered him to work as the Commissioner for the United Kingdom in Sri Lanka stating "He has been a great face for our country and it gives me immense pleasure in offering him the post of High Commissioner to the UK".[91]

Cowdrey Lecture[edit]

Sangakkara delivered the 2011 MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lords.[92] He became the youngest person and the first current international player to deliver that lecture, which was widely praised by the cricketing community.[13][14][93] The one-hour-long speech was based on the history and the corruption in the cricket administration in Sri Lanka. In his speech, he said: "accountability and transparency in administration and credibility of conduct were lost in a mad power struggle that would leave Sri Lankan cricket with no clear, consistent administration", and observed that these problems in administration had risen only after Sri Lanka's 1996 Cricket World Cup victory.[94] He also blamed "a handful of well-meaning individuals" who control the game, wasting the cricket board's finances and resources. Immediately after the lecture, the Sri Lankan sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage ordered an investigation into the speech.[95] Despite the critical comments by the Sri Lankan government officials, it has been described as "the most important speech in cricket history".[96]

Beyond cricket[edit]

After his retirement from ODI cricket in 2015, Sangakkara became the Leading Wisden Cricketer of the year 2014 for his impressive cricket career. With this award, he was second only to Indian Virender Sehwag, to win the Wisden Leading cricketer award twice, both in 2011 and 2015. He also won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Sport at the 5th Asian Awards, which were held in London on 17 April 2015.[97]

On 19 August 2015, just after the end of Sri Lankan Parliamentary election of 2015, president Maithripala Sirisena appointed Sangakkara as the Ambassador Of Anti-narcotics program In Sri Lanka.[98] The letter of appointment was handed over to Sangakkara by the president at President’s official residence.[99][100][101]

Domestic cricket[edit]

Sangakkara currently plays domestic cricket for Nondescripts in Sri Lanka, as well as Surrey in England and also various T20 tournaments around the world.

County cricket[edit]

Sangakkara has played English county cricket with Warwickshire in the 2007 County Championship. In 2010 Sangakkara was contracted to represent Lancashire in the 2010 County Championship,[102] but never represented the club because of international commitments.[103] For the 2015 and 2016 seasons Sangakkara has contracted to play for Surrey.[104]

Indian Premier League[edit]

Sangakkara has played in five seasons of the Indian Premier League. Winning bids for him in 2008 and 2011 were US$700,000 by Kings XI Punjab and US$300,000 by Deccan Chargers respectively. He was the captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad team. Sangakkara has scored 1567 runs with 10 half-centuries in 62 matches in IPL.[105]

Sri Lanka Premier League[edit]

In the Sri Lanka Premier League which officially started in 2012, Sangakkara was named the captain and icon player of the Kandurata Warriors franchise. Unfortunately he couldn't participate as a player in the inaugural edition in 2012 as he suffered a finger injury weeks before the tournament during a One Day International against India. However, he appeared as a television commentator during some matches.

Caribbean Premier League[edit]

On 18 August 2013, Sangakkarra joined the Jamaica Tallawahs of the Caribbean Premier League.[106]

Return to county cricket[edit]

Before Sri Lanka's test series against England in 2014, Sangakkara returned to county cricket, playing two matches for Durham,[107] which included 159 against Sussex in his final innings. On 16 January 2015, it was announced that he would be joining Surrey on a two-year contract.[108] Sangakkara scored a brilliant century against Glamorgan, where he scored 149 runs, which was his maiden century for Surrey in this county season. After the match, he said that he is willing to see the comeback of English batsman Kevin Pietersen to the international cricket[109][110]

Personal life[edit]

Sangakkara is married to his longtime partner, Yehali.[111] They have twins, a girl and a boy: Swyree and Kavith.[112]

He is involved in a number of charity work in Sri Lanka. He is a member of the Think Wise Initiative, launched by International Cricket Council, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and UNICEF, which is aimed at raising awareness of HIV prevention and eliminating discrimination against people living with HIV and AIDS.[113] He is also a partner of the Foundation of Goodness, a charity launched by Muttiah Muralitharan.[25]

Playing style[edit]

Sangakkara is a left-handed top order batsman who likes to hit the ball square of the wicket on the off-side. While the cut and the pull are natural strokes to him, he tends to play off the front foot. The cover drive is one of his regular scoring shots. Sangakkara averages 58.66 in Test cricket. In ODI cricket, he retired with an average of 42.[114] Sangakkara handed over his wicket-keeping duty to Prasanna Jayawardene in Tests cricket in 2006. He played as a specialist batsman in Tests, and retired as a wicket keeper-batsman in other formats of the game. He is the first in the list of wicket keepers who contributed to the most number of dismissals in ODI cricket, With 499. He is also the wicket keeper with highest number of stumpings—99—in ODI cricket.[115]

He has won a certain degree of admiration for his clever use of sledging and is one of few cricketers who are willing to talk about it openly. In an interview in 2004 he explained his approach to sledging:

The public perception of sledging is to go out there and abuse someone in obscene language, questioning their parentage or sexual preferences. That kind of abuse does not belong on the field of play. Sledging, as coined and pioneered by the Australians, is a measured comment designed to get a reaction out of a player. It could be any reaction: a bit of anger, a show of arrogance, a comment, a shake of the head, or a slump of the shoulders.

— Kumara Sangakkara in 2004[116]

International records[edit]

World records are bold


  • Highest aggregate of runs- Sangakkara (12,400) in 134 matches at an Average of 57.40
  • Most double centuries in a career - Sangakkara has 11 double centuries in tests, second only to 12 double centuries by Don Bradman.
  • Most scores over 190 in a career (14)[117]
  • Most number of centuries – Sangakkara has 38 centuries in 131 matches. He is fourth in the list, only behind 51 of Sachin Tendulkar, 45 of Jacques Kallis and 41 of Ricky Ponting.
  • Highest average (qualification 5000 runs.) by a Sri Lankan – Sangakkara (57.40)- fifth highest overall after Donald Bradman, Ken Barrington, Wally Hammond and Garfield Sobers.[118]
  • Most number of half centuries – Sangakkara has 52 half-centuries in 131 matches. He is seventh in the list.
  • Most number of dismissals (includes wicket-keeping) – Sangakkara has taken (197 dismissals) in 131 matches.
  • First player to score 150+ scores in four consecutive Test matches.
  • Fastest 8,000 runs – Sangakkara (152 innings)
  • Fastest 9,000 runs – Sangakkara (172 innings)
  • Fastest 11,000 runs – Sangakkara (208 innings)
  • Fastest 12,000 runs - Sangakkara (224 innings)
  • Highest partnership for any wicket – 624 for the third wicket by Kumara Sangakkara (287) & Mahela Jayawardene (374) against South Africa in 2006.
  • Most partnership runs for the 3rd wicket – Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene (scored 5890 runs )
  • Most runs in Year 2014 - 1483 runs in 12 matches with 4 hundreds and 9 fifties with average 71.09

One-Day Internationals[edit]

  • Highest aggregate of runs - Sangakkara (14,234) in 404 matches at an Average of 41.98. He is second in the list.
  • First Sri Lankan to pass 14,000 runs.
  • Most number of half centuries – Sangakkara has 93 half-centuries in 404 matches. He is second in the list.
  • Most number of dismissals (includes wicket-keeping) – Sangakkara has taken (501 dismissals = 402 ct. + 99 st.) in 404 matches.
  • Highest 2nd wicket partnership - 212* by Lahiru Thirimanne & Kumara Sangakkara against England Welington in 2015.
  • Most stumpings in career as a wicketkeeper in ODIs – 99 by Kumara Sangakkara.
  • Most runs in Year 2014 - 1256 runs in 28 matches with 4 hundreds and 8 fifties with the average 46.51
  • Most runs in cricket in all formats of the game in a calendar year - Sangakkara scored 2868 runs in year 2014. (1493 Tests + 1256 ODIs + 119 T20Is)
  • First batsman to score four consecutive hundreds - centuries against Bangladesh (105*), England (117*), Australia (104) and Scotland (124) in the 2015 ICC World Cup.

World Cups[edit]

  • Most number of dismissals (includes wicket-keeping) – Kumara Sangakkara (54) in 25 matches.
  • Fastest century by a Sri Lankan - Sangakkara scored his 23rd ODI century by 70 balls against England on 1 March 2015.

When considering total runs scored in all forms of the game, Sangakkara is second only to Indian Sachin Tendulkar, where Sangakkara scored 28,016 international runs and Tendulkar has scored 34,357 international runs.

Player statistics[edit]

An innings-by-innings breakdown of Sangakkara's Test match batting career, showing runs scored (red bars) and the average of the last ten innings (blue line).

Test performance against each opponent[edit]

As of 23 August 2015 until his retirement:[119]

Opponent Matches Innings Not out Runs High Score 100 50 Average
 Australia 11 21 1 878 192 1 7 43.90
 Bangladesh 15 21 2 1,816 319 7 7 95.57
 England 22 39 1 1,568 152 3 7 40.20
 India 17 28 2 1,362 219 5 2 54.25
 New Zealand 12 20 3 887 203 4 2 51.88
 Pakistan 22 43 6 2,877 230 10 12 77.76
 South Africa 17 28 0 1,434 287 3 6 48.64
 West Indies 12 19 2 918 157* 3 5 54.00
 Zimbabwe 5 6 0 536 270 2 1 89.33
TOTAL 134 233 17 12,400 319 38 52 57.40

ODI performance against each opponent[edit]

As of 18 March 2015, until his retirement:[120]

Opponent Matches Innings Not out Runs High Score 100 50 Average
 Australia 46 46 4 1813 104 2 12 43.17
 Bangladesh 31 28 3 1206 128 5 6 48.24
 England 44 41 7 1625 134* 4 11 47.79
 India 76 72 4 2706 138* 6 18 39.79
 New Zealand 47 45 6 1568 113* 2 12 40.21
 Pakistan 56 53 4 1720 112 2 10 35.10
 South Africa 44 43 4 1789 169 2 13 45.89
 West Indies 20 17 1 480 90* 0 3 30.00
 Zimbabwe 21 17 5 556 80 0 4 46.33
 Afghanistan 2 2 0 83 76 0 1 76.00
 Bermuda 1 1 0 76 76 0 1 76.00
 Canada 2 2 1 96 92 0 1 96.00
 Ireland 1 1 0 10 10 0 0 10.00
 Kenya 3 3 2 135 103* 1 0 135.00
 Netherlands 3 3 0 115 46 0 0 38.33
 Scotland 1 1 0 124 124 1 0 124.00
 United Arab Emirates 2 2 0 17 17 0 0 8.50
ACA Africa XI 3 3 1 97 61 0 1 48.50
ICC World XI 1 1 0 24 24 0 0 24.00
TOTAL 404 380 42 14234 169 25 93 41.98


Sangakkara has scored 38 centuries in Test cricket, more than any other Sri Lankan. Additionally, Sangakkara has scored 25 centuries in ODIs.[121]


Sangakkara has scored 52 test, 93 ODI and 8 T20I half-centuries.

Test half centuries[edit]

  • In the column Runs, * indicates being not out
  • The column title Match refers to the Match Number of the player's career

One Day International half centuries[edit]

  • In the column Runs, * indicates being not out
  • The column title Match refers to the Match Number of the player's career

Twenty20 International half centuries[edit]

  • In the column Runs, * indicates being not out
  • The column title Match refers to the Match Number of the player's career