Colombo: An emotional Kumar Sangakkara on Monday said his greatest achievement in life is to go back to a family that has and will continue loving him irrespective of his performances on the cricket field.
The great Sri Lankan batsman ended his journey in international cricket here at the P. Sara Oval ground as India clinched the second Test by 278 runs. The three-match Test series is currently tied at 1-1.
Sangakkara failed to contribute with the bat, scoring just 18 in his last innings, but at the post-match presentation he was almost in tears bidding farewell to the sport he chose as a profession.
"People ask me about the big achievements. The hundreds, the World Cup win (T20), but I just look up at the box, all my friends over the last 30 years, have come up here on a Monday to watch me play. To be able to go back to a family that will love me whether I win or lose. That is my greatest achievement," Sangakkara said.
The prolific left hander who has scored 12,400 runs from 134 Test matches also lauded the efforts of the Virat Kohli-led Indian team who were brilliant in the match spoiling a perfect farewell.
"To Virat and the Indian team. Thanks for the kind words and more importantly the quality of cricket you have brought here. I couldn't have asked more anything more than tough cricket when I am leaving. You have been our toughest opponents. We had planned to beat you. Sometimes we have succeeded, sometimes we haven't, but thanks for being there," he said.
The former Sri Lanka skipper also said his biggest inspiration has been his parents and thanked them for their contribution over the years.
"A lot of people have asked me what has inspired me? I don't have to look beyond my parent. I am sorry I don't want to embarrass you but you have been my inspiration. Thank you amma and appachi. I felt safe at home. They say you can't choose your family, but I am thankful I was born your children," he said.
Sangakkara also thanked his former coaches and team-mates and added the current Sri Lankan team headed by allrounder Angelo Mathews should always play fearless cricket.
"To all my past captains, to all my team-mates, the support, the inspiration, the drive you have shown, I value them very highly. All the moments in the dressing room, I am going to miss that very much. To Charlie and Suthami Austin, it has not been as easy job managing me. But you have become much more than a manger. Thank you most of all for making me the godfather of your beautiful children."
"Finally to Angie (Angelo Mathews) and my team, Angie, you have an amazing team. You have an amazing future. Just be fearless and don't be afraid to lose when going for a win," concluded the 37-year-old.