Colombo: After Sri Lanka Cricket Chairman Arjuna Ranatunga, captain Mahela Jayawardene and vice-captain Kumar Sangakkara took their turn to lavish praise on retired former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, saying he brought strength of character in the team.

“In my opinion he is the captain who gave India the strength of character to compete on the world arena and stand up to teams like Australia,” Sangakkara said in his tribute.

Commending Ganguly’s achievements, Sangakkara said the retirement of Ganguly, who played the last Test of his career in Nagpur on Monday, was a loss to the Asian sub-continent.

Sad day

“I think it is a sad day when a great player from any country retires especially Dada. I think it is sadder for the Asian sub-continent in general because he has been a fantastic servant of the game,” he said.

Sangakkara said he grew up watching Ganguly and learned a lot even while playing against him.

“I have got to know Dada quite well over the years. I know and respect him as an individual and as a great cricket player and I have grown up watching him bat and I have had the pleasure and privilege of playing with him and against him.

“I wish him all the best in the future and I know that he leaves with the respect of all his teammates and also the opponents who have played against him over the years,” Sangakkara said. — PTI

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