Colombo - Sri Lanka's batting great Kumar Sangakkara is still in talks with
selectors to discuss his retirement from Test cricket, captain Angelo Mathews
said on Wednesday.
Local media had speculated that the 37-year-old will only play three more
home Tests - two in the ongoing series against Pakistan and one against India
in August - before ending his glittering 15-year career.
But Mathews, speaking to reporters ahead of the second Test against Pakistan
starting at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo on Thursday, said the team's senior pro
had still not made up his mind.
"Kumar has still to confirm his retirement plans," the Sri Lankan
captain said. "He was supposed to meet the press over the last few days,
but he has not done that yet.
"I know he is still talking to the selectors."
Left-handed Sangakkara is the leading current Test batsmen. His 12,271 runs
and 38 centuries far exceed second-placed Alastair Cook of England, who has
9,000 runs and 27 hundreds.
The 131-Test veteran is unlikely to catch up with record-holder Sachin
Tendulkar's Test tally of 15,921 runs and 51 hundreds, but his 11 scores of
200-plus are just one short of Australian legend Don Bradman's record of 12.
In the first Test against Pakistan in Galle, Sangakkara hit a 50 in the
first innings - his 52nd half-century - and 18 in the second when Sri Lanka
were shot out for 206.
Sangakkara had hammered 203 against New Zealand in Wellington in January, to
continue a prolific streak that saw him make 221 against Pakistan and 319
against Bangladesh last year.
Mathews denied that Sangakkara had delayed the announcement because of Sri
Lanka's stunning 10-wicket defeat in Galle which put Pakistan ahead in the
"He had been speaking with the selectors even before the series
began," Mathews said, adding the uncertainty had not affected the team
"I think Kumar has earned the right to decide when he should go."
said Mathews. "He has served Sri Lanka well over the years and he will
obviously be missed when he goes.
"But it now up to the younger players to step into the shoes of Kumar
and Mahela (Jayawardene). It won't be easy but they have a great opportunity to
make a name for themselves."
Jayawardene retired from Tests and Twenty20 cricket last year and quit the
one-day format after the recent World Cup where Sri Lanka made the
Sangakkara followed his close friend and long-time team-mate in quitting
one-day and Twenty20 cricket at the same time, but remained keen to play some
more Test matches.