Kumar Sangakkara is currently playing in BBL 06 © AFP
Kumar Sangakkara is currently playing in BBL 06 © AFP

Galaxy Gladiators Lantau have landed a major signing coup with Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara to play with the franchise in the 2017 Hong Kong T20 Blitz.

Sangakkara represented Sri Lanka 594 times across all three formats of the game and is widely regarded as one of the best batsmen in the modern era. The 39-year-old is the first of five overseas players to join the Galaxy Gladiators and will provide a wealth of experience to the young squad.

Sangakkara is currently with Hobart Hurricanes in Australia’s Big Bash League and will join Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League before arriving in Hong Kong for the tournament played from March 8-12. The left-handed batsman will be a huge drawcard for the cricket-loving public and will provide the Galaxy Gladiators with a strike weapon at the top of the order.

Sangakkara said, “I am delighted to be associated with the Galaxy Gladiators Lantau and I look forward to playing with the young and upcoming talent of Hong Kong as well as catching up with all the Amazing cricket fans”

In a joint statement, Galaxy Gladiators team owners Ankit Khandelwal and Gaurav Dhariwal said: “It’s an honour to have such an experienced sports star on board. It will be amazing for the youngsters and players from other teams to have such a great legend playing amidst the teams!”

Scott McKechnie, who has been appointed coach of the Galaxy Gladiators said: “We’re delighted to have Kumar representing the Galaxy Gladiators in 2017′s Hong Kong T20 Blitz; his skill and experience will be invaluable to our young, talented squad. We feel this signing aptly reflects the steep growth curve of both our franchise and this tournament, as well as reinforcing Cricket Hong Kong’s growing global presence.”

Cricket Hong Kong CEO Tim Cutler said, “We are absolutely delighted to have a true icon of the game in Kumar Sangakkara come to play in the Blitz. One of the great batsman-keepers to grace the sport’s history, with an astonishing test batting average of 57.40 and 12,400 runs to his name in the longer format. The fact he is is still playing in the elite T20 leagues around the world only proves his versatility to have performed on the world stage over seventeen years. I am very excited for the Hong Kong cricket loving public who will get to watch one of the true gentlemen of the sport ply his wares, live and up close at Tin Kwong Road.”