Greats say goodbye
The 1st quarter final of cricket world cup 2015 was a one sided encounter. Srilanka scored 133 and the Proteas had the game by 18th over with 9 wickets. Memories of this disastrous clash will fade away sooner or later but the memories given by the great duo of Kumar Sangakara and Mahela Jayawardene will always be remembered. They were the finest players of their generation and probably the greatest Srilankan cricket has ever produced. For the past one decade Mahela and Kumar were the foundation around whom the whole team played their cricket.
It’s was an absolute treat to watch them play. Cricketing world has seen some great duo’s over the time with the likes of Hayden and Gilchrist, Haynes and Greendige, Sachin and Sourav, Waqar and Wasim, but the phrase Kumar and Mahela has a significant place in world’s cricket.
Sangakara says goodbye to the white ball cricket after playing 404 matches with 14,189 runs with 93 fifties and 25 hundreds at an average of 43 per innings. He also grabbed 402 catches and 99 stumpings. His retirement came as a shock to many cricketing fans all over the world. He had hit 4 consecutives centuries at the cricket world cup 2015. He is second highest run getter after India’s Sachin Tendulkar. It was asked from Sanga that how would he be liked to remember after he is retired. He said “If someone would say that he enjoyed playing against me, it would be more than satisfactory to me”. Sangakara will still be playing Test cricket for some more time but Srilankan cricket would feel the absence of the great player at no 3 when they pick their team for future tournaments.
Mahela Jayawerdene who has given his team, his nation and the cricketing world so much over the past 17 years would always be remembered and respected. He made his ODI debut in 1998 after that there was no turning back as he played 448 ODI’s scoring 12,650, 17 hundreds and 77 fifties. He was the captain of Srilankan side in 2007 world cup and scored the century at a crucial time against India in 2011 world cup final.
These two legends played their final game against South Africa in front of a huge crowd at Sydney who gave them a standing ovation. Their efforts and love for the game was saluted by millions of cricket fans all over the globe. In terms of labels they were never labeled as “wall” or “the god” on the contrary cricket is a gentlemen’s game and these two lived up to this term. They were stylish with the bat, humble on the field and genuine high achieving cricketers to top it all.
It is said that the show must go on, many greats leave the pitch and new comers step in and take the game to a new level but their magic would always speak highly about them. Their stats would always glorify them. It is very much possible that Srilanka will produce the batsmen of their quality but producing the likes of Sanga and Mahela both at the same time is something near to impossible.
Thank you Sanga Thank you Mahela.