Sangakkara to retire from T20 Internationals after World T20

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

“I won’t be playing any T20 internationals after this”

Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara has announced that he will retire from Twenty20 Internationals following the conclusion of the World Twenty20.

Sangakkara has represented Sri Lanka in 50 Twenty20 Internationals and scored 1,311 runs at a respectable average of 32.77 and excellent strike rate of 120.82.

“Definitely, without a doubt, this is my last World T20,” Sangakkara told Sunday Island. “I won’t be playing any T20 internationals after this.

“It’s sad, but that’s the truth. It’s not the end of my T20 career, though. I would like to play franchise based T20s. Once your World Cup prospects are over, you should give the next crop of players an opportunity. It’s a natural progression.

“Improving is the whole purpose of playing. When you reach a goal you lift that goal and try to achieve something new. Whether you are young or older, the motivation has to be there. The day that motivation goes and you are just trying to hold on to your place in the side, that’s the time that you have to decide that the time is right to go. When you play for a team, the main thing is to win. If you can do it there is a huge feeling of satisfaction. Those are the things that really motivate me.”

Sri Lanka managed to make it to the final of the 2009 and 2012 World Twenty20, but lost to Pakistan and the West Indies respectively.

However, Sangakkara is hoping for a different result, should Sri Lanka make it to the final this time round.

“We had a fine opportunity in 2009,” he said. “We won the toss and it was a beautiful wicket to bat on. We were 64 for five and ended up making 138. If we had got to 150, we would have won.

“In the 2012 final, we could have restricted the West Indies to 110 or so. But we gave away too many runs towards the end and it was a tough wicket to chase. I don’t think we played to our capabilities. The Pakistan side was a good side against spin, and we played well in the semi-final against them. We knew going into the final that anything over 140 was going to be tough. You may go into a final with an unbeaten record, but unfortunately, you can be beaten and that’s the reality.”

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