ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara is set to link up with the Jamaica Tallawahs for the final stretch of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL), organisers have confirmed.
The elegant 36 year-old left-handed batsman will take over from Pakistan top-order player Ahmed Shezhad, who is leaving to join the Pakistan squad on tour in Zimbabwe.
Sangakkara, who has played for three franchises in the Indian Premier League – Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab and Sun risers Hyderabad – becomes the fourth Sri Lanka player to join the LCPL following on from the signings Muttiah Muralitharan (Jamaica Talla wahs), Mahela Jayawardene (Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel) and Lasith Malinga (Guyana Amazon Warriors).
Reflecting on his move, Sangakkara said: “I did not expect to be playing the Limacol CPL this year, but when Murali telephoned and asked whether I might be interested in playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs I jumped at the chance.
“To play alongside Murali again will, of course, be a great privilege and it will also be very exciting to bat with Chris (Gayle) rather than being his opponent.
“The Tallawahs have had a great season thus far and I hope I can make a positive contribution as we seek to win the inaugural tournament.”
Sangakkara brings with him not only that wealth of IPL experience but also a significant amount of international experience too.
He has played a total of 117 Tests, 354 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 45 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) and led his country to the final of the ICC World Twenty20 in England in 2009, where they were defeated by Pakistan at Lord’s.
Sangakkara was also part of the Sri Lanka side that again reached the final of the ICC World Twenty20 in his home country last October, only to be beaten once more, this time by the West Indies.
In Tests he has scored 10,486 runs at an average of 56.98 with 33 hundreds and 42 fifties while in ODIs his aggregate is 11,798 runs at 39.99 with 16 more hundreds, as well as 79 fifties.
In T20Is he has a tally of 1178 runs with a strike-rate of 120.08 runs per hundred balls and including seven fifties, while in all Twenty20 matches, domestic and international combined, he has played 138 times, scoring 3481 runs with 20 fifties and a strike-rate of 124.76.
The inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League runs until Saturday with the two semi-finals taking place in Trinidad and Tobago on Thursday and Friday and the final on Saturday.