Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara will become the first active international cricketer to deliver the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's on July 4, it was announced on Tuesday.

Top-order batsman Sangakkara, also the first Sri Lankan invited to speak in the 11-year history of the event, is due to give his address the day after he is set to play against England in an ODI at Lord's.

The 33-year-old Sangakkara will become the youngest speaker to give the lecture, following 2009 lecturer Adam Gilchrist, and follows the likes of Geoffrey Boycott, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Imran Khan.

MCC President Christopher Martin-Jenkins said:

“Kumar Sangakkara is widely respected in cricket not only as a brilliant player but as a highly intelligent one.

“His views on topical matters will be truly illuminating and many people will be looking forward to hearing what he has to say.”

The lecture was inaugurated in 2001 in memory of former England captain Colin Cowdrey. — AFP

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