- Sports and Recreation
I have been watching cricket since late 90's. The first time I watched someone bowl with my complete senses was none other than, Waqar Younis and he was bowling to the greatest player himself you know who, ohh wait I guess you don't , his name is Kumar Sangakkara. I know what you people are thinking right now, let me support my word with a few statistics. "Why Sangakkara!"
Firstly the batting average of Sangakkara is better than that of Sachin both in Tests and ODI. Well this paves my way to explain the greatest ever player, because their is no other player to be compared with these two players.
From the time of Sri lanka's peak cricketing period to the time when Sri lanka was facing huge setbacks due to the retirement of Murali and Vaas. Sangakkara took his country to the ultimate glory. Every player dreams of having such a wonderful career. Well the batting averages of this legend shows us why he is the best ever. His most heroic performances have resulted in winning Sri lanka matches. His calmness and patriotism can be highlighted through one of his own quotes:
"I am Tamil, Sinhalese, Muslim and Burgher. I am a Buddhist, a Hindu, a follower of Islam and Christianity. I am today, and always, proudly Sri Lankan."
Few of his life time achievements are: ICC ODI Player of the Year 2011. Wis den Cricketer of the Year 2012. Wis den Leading Cricketer, 2012, 2015. LG People's Choice Award 2011, 2012. ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2012. ICC Cricketer of the Year 2012. ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year 2013.
Apart from being a great batsman, he was also one of the greatest wicket keepers of all time.
On 29 January 2015, Sangakkara became Sri Lanka's highest ever ODI run scorer, surpassing the previous record of 13,430 runs held by Sanath Jayasuriya. In the same match, he also broke the record for ODI wicket keeping dismissals, breaking the previous record of 472 held by Adam Gilchrist. But he was mostly admired by public due to his batting perfomance.
He could have played on and on like other players but he always played for team gains which makes him unique in a way. Few of his last words while retiring from International arena were:
"I don't want to extend my career for individual records. This is the time to go."
He won Sri lanka a memorable T20 World cup and took retirement along with Mahela Jayawardene. Since then Sri lanka's team is struggling to find the right batting combination and a Good wicket keeper this shows his importance and what he was for team Sri lanka.
Having said that, one would also be a fool to accept any other player the greatest ever!