Home > News >

Kumar Sangakkara excited about stint with Durham

Kumar Sangakkara © Getty Images
Kumar Sangakkara © Getty Images

Durham: April 30, 2014

Celebrated Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara refused to rule out a return to Durham after being unveiled as the English county side’s latest overseas signing on Wednesday. The left-handed batsman has agreed a short-term two-and-a-half-week contract to join the reigning county champions, but hinted that he is open to a more long-term return in future.

“If I can have another year here, where I can be successful, I would love that. The real key is the relationships that you build up over time. Durham were one of the few counties with an opening for an overseas player. I was pretty lucky they agreed to take me on, because two games is sometimes not viable for a county. Coming here, the conditions are really challenging if you’re looking to learn, but this is a great place to come,” said Sangakkara, who helped his country to lift the World T20 crown earlier this year.

Sangakkara will make his Durham debut in the four-day game against Yorkshire in the County Championship on Sunday. His second and final game is against Sussex at Hove, starting the following weekend.

The short-term stay provides ideal preparation for Sri Lanka’s forthcoming Test and one-day international series against England, which starts at the end of May.

The 36-year-old Sangakkara, who is ninth on the list of all-time Test run scorers with 11,151 at an average of more than 58, added: “It’s important that I keep my focus on the present, and make an impact against Yorkshire.

“Of course I’ll have the preparation for England at the back of my mind, but it’s important to be focused on current events. Playing against England for us has always been a challenge. We don’t have the pace and firepower of the English, Australian, South African and even Pakistani attacks, but to be fair, we have a lot of variety in our bowling.

“We have guys who can swing and seam, and others pushing into 140 kilometres per hour. Back in 2006, when we toured here, it was a pretty successful time, drawing the Test series 1-1 and winning 5-0 in the one-dayers. “To win a Test series here in England, that’s a real dream.” he said. Sangakkara, who came close to joining Lancashire in 2010, enjoyed his only previous spell in English county cricket, with Warwickshire in 2007. “It was one of the best experiences I’ve had as a cricketer,” he said. “The dressing-room atmosphere and the general professionalism of the players left a lasting impression on my mind.

“This is probably my last year and a bit in international cricket and I would like to play county cricket again.” Sangakkara caused amusement during Wednesday’s press conference at Durham’s Chester-le-Street ground after revealing that he was late after getting lost on the way there.

Having been beset by satellite navigation problems as he travelled from his temporary base in nearby Durham City, he explained: “I had to apologise for turning up late. “For some reason I seemed to end up on the motorway on my way to the ground, which clearly wasn’t the right way, but I found myself here in the end.”

Durham coach Jon Lewis acknowledged that the county could stand accused of playing one of Sri Lanka’s top players into form ahead of their meeting with an England side keen to move on from the memory of a tortuous winter tour of Australia.

“I understand that criticism might come our way, but this is about doing the right thing for us,” he said. “We’ve lost a couple of batsmen and with the injury to Ben Stokes, it’s left a bit of a hole.

“So to have Kumar available for a couple of games is a big plus. There’s never a wrong time to bring in someone of Kumar’s experience and it’s good to have a senior guy in there who has played a lot of cricket.”

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 4, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Leeds

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Sep 5, 2014 (19:30 IST)   at Kingstown, St Vincent

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014  at Harare

Zimbabwe won by 3 wkts

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Dambulla

SL won by 7 wkts (D/L method)

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014  at Nottingham

India won by 6 wkts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Photos

Australia vs Zimbabwe, ODI tri-series at Harare

Videos

Misbah disppointed with Pakistan's performance

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe vs Australia, 4th ODI: Highlights

Elton Chigumbura-Prosper Utseya partnership takes Zimbabwe to historic win over Australia

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Supreme Court hearing on IPL spot-fixing scandal unlikely to reveal anything dramatic on Monday

Elton Chigumbura: My role was to support Prosper Utseya

Australia missed Steven Smith during Zimbabwe clash: Michael Clarke

India tour of England 2014: Ajinka Rahane comes out in support of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli

Darren Lehmann embarrassed after Australia’s humiliating loss against Zimbabwe

Should Michael Clarke cut down on playing time ahead of ICC World Cup 2015?

Australia’s losses to minnows in limited-overs cricket

India tour of England 2014: Who is Jason Roy?

Zimbabwe’s 12 most memorable victories in international cricket

Zimbabwe’s moment of glory

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

667 Posts | 6 Fans

10 Most Unbeatable Records in Cricket

When Deepika Padukone, Shriya Saran, Nargis Fakhri went nude…

Shraddha Kapoor rocks earcuffs best, say fans!

TEOCO sees opportunity from telecom space in India

B-Town congratulates Abishek Bachchan post kabaddi team’s win

What happens inside your brain while watching movies

Soon, Google Glass app to reveal age

Motorola Moto X+1 alleged live photos leaked ahead of September 4 launch

Barclays Premier League 2014-15: Liverpool have reignited last season’s spark claims Brendan Rodgers

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here