Kumar Sangakkara was hard selling Sri Lankan tourism at a mall in the city on Saturday when he was ambushed by a young girl, who told him: “You are seriously cute”. The talismanic Sri Lankan cricketer blushed, did his bit to promote interest in Sri Lanka and then briefly spoke to the media, primarily about cricket.
On the pressure of being a senior.
‘Senior’ is quite an interesting term: You only get it when you have performed. Whether they play a youngster, they’ve got to take that position from a senior player and it is based on performance. Decisions in the future will be tough but I am sure they (selectors) know what they are doing.”
On chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya’s remark that Sri Lankans don’t look too kindly at youngsters going to IPL.
That’s a valid comment because it is about technique. Technique is very important for Test cricket. Whoever plays the shorter version of the game, when they play Test cricket, it is a completely different challenge; more technical accomplishment is required and that is why Jayasuriya said that and I completely agree. When you’re a youngster you cannot get carried away by just playing T20.
Is there enough talent to replace the seniors?
“We have a great stock of younger players coming through and we’re very happy that we play a big part in guiding them. At the same time, our (his own and that of Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan) careers are coming to an end — sooner than later — and by that time we should ensure that there are enough capable youngsters.”
On Angelo Mathews’ captaincy skills.
“I have seen Angelo Mathews grow as a player and there is a lot more you can get out of him. He is a natural leader and then (Dinesh) Chandimal (vice-captain) is young and for him it is important to gain exposure, build his image and slowly become the next leader after Angelo. It is a good combination but we need to give them patience and time.”