Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara has announced that it is highly likely he will retire from ODIs after the 2015 World Cup.
Despite having scored 1,382 runs at a brilliant average of 47.03 in ODIs this year alone, Sangakkara noted that he doesn’t want to occupy a spot in the side for no reason at all.
“If I’m not able to play in the next World Cup when one World Cup ends, there is no point in me sticking around,” Sangakkara said after the sixth ODI. “All I’ll end up doing is taking up the spot of another player.
“We have four years to build up a good team. Today, Dinesh Chandimal came in after a while and played a very special, very important innings. Just like that, the likes of Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera have plenty of ability and plenty of talent. We need to give them time and opportunities, just like we had when we were younger. They need time to settle, and mature and win another World Cup after this next one.”
Sangakkara also confirmed that he is embroiled in talks with Surrey about a possible county stint in 2015. However, since he is considering retiring from Tests after the series against India in August next year, there is a good chance that Sangakkara could actually represent Surrey for the entire season.
“My plans for next year are a case of finalising my Test career, and ensuring I can keep my word to the people that I’ve given my word to,” he said. “The only thing left is to think about my Test career beyond the World Cup. But I don’t see myself playing more than a couple of series at the most.
“Playing for Surrey is something that I really want to do as well. Graham Ford is there. I’ve worked with Fordie, and he’s been brilliant for Sri Lankan cricket, and personally to me. He’s been a fantastic influence in my career. The idea is not to go cold turkey with retirement, but to slowly wind it down and make sure I don’t drive my family nuts by staying at home all day. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it there and have a good season.”