Sri Lankan great nears run milestone

Monday, 24 December 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

AAP: It will be no less than he deserves if Kumar Sangakkara can pass the 10,000-run milestone in one of the next two Tests against Australia.

As the Sri Lankans are usually scheduled to play Tests at the smaller Australian venues, the 35-year-old champion’s 115 Test on boxing day will be his first at the MCG.

And the following week, it’s the traditional New Year fixture at the SCG so often the preserve of the big-drawing cricket nations such as England, India and South Africa.

With 9,660 runs at a magnificent average of 55.64, Sangakkara sits behind only skipper Mahela Jayawardene (10,671 at 49.86) on the Sri Lankan all-time list.

“If you’re a batsman, I think 10,000 Test runs is that separation between a batsman who will probably be remembered a bit more than the rest,” Sangakkara said on Sunday.

“It’s pretty good to be almost there and then hopefully beyond 10,000 as well.”

With large Sri Lankan expat communities in Australia’s biggest two cities particularly Melbourne Sangakkara won’t be lacking for support in his push to the five-figure mark.

“Melbourne and Sydney have always traditionally been almost like home games for us,” he said.

“It will affect the mentality of the side when they see such a lot of support in a foreign country.

“That sort of atmosphere will help us. “But at the same time, it’s pretty important not to get carried away by your emotions and the occasion.” Sangakkara would have to score heavily to get to 10,000 in the next couple of weeks. But a stellar record that includes 30 Test centuries and a highest score of 287 suggests it is not beyond him.

Sri Lanka trail 1-0 in the three-Test series. Their build-up to game two will hardly have been helped by claims that Jayawardene and Team Manager Charith Senanayake breached their contracts by publicly complaining that a private memo they sent to the sport’s national governing body ended up in a newspaper.

Jayawardene had written to Sri Lanka Cricket last week suggesting that fees from the 2012 World Twenty20 tournament should be shared with support staff, coaches and ground staff.

The memo and response then appeared in the local Daily Mirror newspaper, angering Jayawardene, the Associated Press reported.