Sangakkara ready for final captaincy tilt

SOUTHAMPTON, June 15, 2011 (AFP) – Former skipper Kumar Sangakkara admitted he was a reluctant captain of Sri Lanka heading into the third and final Test against England at the Rose Bowl. Sangakkara, who stepped down as skipper after Sri Lanka’s World Cup final defeat by India in Mumbai in April, found himself back at the helm after Tillakaratne Dilshan, his successor, was ruled out of the England finale having suffered a broken thumb while making 193 in the drawn second Test at Lord’s.

“When I was first approached to captain the side (in the third Test) I wasn’t ready to take it on, because the fact was I had given it up,” Sangakkara told reporters at the Rose Bowl here on Wednesday.

“Unfortunately there was no vice-captain appointed for this test series, so the side was left in a bit of a problem with no-one to step in to captain.

“So, with a lot of deep thought and considering the needs of the side and Sri Lanka, I decided to say ‘yes’ to captaining Sri Lanka again for a final time in this Test,” the 33-year-old top-order batsman added.

Sangakkara said he was clear he would be resigning the captaincy long before the defeat by India — Sri Lanka’s second successive Wo