Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara plays a shot during the ICC Cricket World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara on Tuesday morning handed in his resignation from the Sri Lanka cricket captaincy.
Sangakkara informed Sri Lanka Cricket this morning that he was resigning as captain of the national team.
``He will resign with immediate effect as the ODI and T20 captain, but he has spoken to the selectors and offered to continue as the Test captain on an interim basis for the forthcoming series with England and Australia if this is considered helpful for the new captain,’’ Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.
The stylish batsman-wicketkeeper However, the cricketer has ruled out retiring from the game and said he would like to play for another two-three years.
Sangakkara’s decision came as a surprise as no one had an inkling of it till he himself announced it. He didn’t give any indication about the resignation to journalists or selectors at a reception given in the team’s honour by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday.
Sangakkara was made captain of the team after Mahela Jayawardena resigned after a series loss to India.
“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,’’ Sangakkara said in statement to the media.
He added that he had met with the selectors on Monday and explained reasons for the decision. ``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,’’ he added.
Sangakkara’s resignation would push the team to uncertainty as Jayawardena is unlikely to again take up captaincy. Sangakkara and Jayawardena are considered the mainstay of the team. Though all-rounder Angelo Mathews is considered by some as a prospective captain, others consider to young at present to take over the reins of the team.