On the eve of Sri Lankan batting great Kumar Sangakkara's final day of international cricket on Monday, Indian Test captain Virat Kohli wrote a heartfelt letter to the retiring great expressing his admiration for him and wishing him luck for his post-cricket life.
"It's been an absolute pleasure knowing you as a person first," Kohli wrote on a photograph of him sharing a smile and a handshake with the Sri Lankan. "You have inspired so many people and shown them the way," Kohli added.
"Lucky to have played in the same era as you. Thanks for everything."
Sangakkara has played 134 Tests in his 15-year international career, scoring 12,400 runs. He also has 182 catches to his credit (131 as a wicketkeeper), as well as 20 stumpings. He has also played in 404 ODIs, scoring 14,234 runs, and 56 Twenty20 Internationals, scoring 1,382 runs.
He captained Sri Lanka in 15 Tests, 45 ODIs and 22 T20s. One of his finest hours came when he inspired Sri Lanka to the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011.
Ravichandran Ashwin's five-wicket haul on the final day helped India to a 278-run, series-levelling win in the second Test, ending Sangakkara's international career on a somewhat bittersweet note, having been dismissed for 18 in his final Test innings.
After the loss, Sangakkara came out onto the field and shared warm handshakes and hugs with the Indian players. He must have been disappointed with Sri Lanka's fourth-innings capitulation and the defeat, undoubtedly, but the result did little to take away from his sparkling career. Sangakkara expressed a desire to spend more time with his family, and to that end, he must have been glad to have been done. The smile on his face certainly suggested that.