Sangakkara — The kid who came to Colombo to study law

In late 1990s, there was a kid from Kandy who came to Colombo to pursue his studies in law. In 1980s, the universities had been closed due to the JVP insurrection and as a result there was a backlog in enrolling students to complete their degrees. The kid from Kandy had to wait for two years for his chance to enter university in a bid to become a lawyer going in the footsteps of his father. So with lot of spare time at his disposal, he decided to play some cricket and was employed by Informatics for a salary of Rs. 4000. Brendon Kuruppu was running cricket at Informatics.

Around the same time, the national cricket team fared so poorly in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1999 in England despite being defending champions. Captain, seniors, cricket board and the selectors were all sacked. President Chandrika Kumaratunga wanted change. The new selection panel headed by Sidath Wettimuny was looking for youth. Kuruppu was part of the selection committee and told his colleagues about this immensely talented kid from Kandy at Informatics. He was a hit with Sri Lanka ‘A’ and soon ended up in the senior side. The nation may have lost a successor to Romesh de Silva (PC) but cricket found someone who could fill the big shoes of Aravinda de Silva. Kumar Sangakkara is his name…

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  1. Great story from a true legend of the game and what an honor to be inducted to this select club. There is so much about Sanga one can say but the one thing that stands out is he was nothing special even at 19 but worked tirelessly at his game to become one of the all time greats. His away record was superb compared to other SL greats and of course he was a double hundred machine – still haven’t forgiven Rudi Koertsen for giving Sanga incorrectly out on 192 in Hobart.