Dubai: He is a big advocate of Test cricket and was Man of the Series in the recently-concluded three-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE. At 34, Kumar Sangakkara still has a few years left in him and although he is reluctant to put a timeframe on how long he wants to continue, it is unlikely he will be around when the World Test Championship is held in 2017, if at all. His reaction therefore was understandable when XPRESS caught up with him for a quick chat.
"It's disappointing but I don't know the reasons behind the decision so I can't really add anything more. Anything that provides added context to Test cricket has to be a good thing," he said, adding: "I haven't put a timeframe on how long I'll play on for but it won't be a case of just hanging around. When I'm playing I want to be contributing and that's always what I want to be doing."
Sri Lanka haven't exactly been setting the field alight since he stepped down as captain following the World Cup final defeat and the win against Pakistan in the second one-dayer in Dubai has come as a big relief to Sangakkara.
"Yes, it was a really satisfying win to defend a total like that to get a win under our belt. There are some times where you have to win ugly, in scrappy games and that was one time when we did just that.
"If you can win ugly on occasions like that then it makes winning a habit and it makes things easier next time when you get into that type of situation," he said.
Despite his team's below-par showing, Sangakkara himself has been in great form scoring 513 runs in the 1-0 Test series loss to Pakistan, but says he has been in better nick before.
"There have been times when I have played better, but I have done reasonably well here and it's always just a case of making the most of that form whenever you find it," he said.
Sangakkara, who has been ranked No 1 batsman in Tests, has over 9,000 runs in both Tests and ODIs and is just behind Mahela Jayawardene who too is approaching the 10,000 mark. But the wicket-keeper batsman says he still has some way to go.
"As a player you take pride in your achievements and it is always nice to reach milestones but I've only just reached 9,000 runs in Tests and one-day Internationals so I've got a way to go to match what he's achieved," he said.
The World Cup final defeat notwithstanding, Sangakkara believes Sri Lanka deserve to be ranked the No 2 ODI side in the world.
"I think we definitely deserve to be number two. If you look at the cricket we've played over the last couple of years then we've been one of the top one-day sides and we did reach the World Cup final so we deserve to be where we are," he said.
Did you know?
With eight double centuries Sangakkara is third in the list of Test double century-makers, behind Donald Bradman (12) and Brian Lara (9)