Colombo, Aug 23: It was the end of an era as Kumar Sangakkara, one of the greats of the game, bid adieu to international cricket with a knock of 18 runs at the P Sara Oval on Sunday.
In the 2nd Test of the series against India, on the 4th day, Sangakkara walked out to bat for one final time as Sri Lanka were set a target of 413. It was not a fairytale ending as the left-hander departed for a run-a-ball 18 runs (3x4), falling again to off-spinner R Ashwin.
It was for the 4th time in the series that Ashwin had dismissed the 37-year-old Sri Lankan legend. In his final knock, Sangakkara was caught by Murali Vijay at slip and as he walked back to the pavilion, Indian players and the crowd joined to pay their respects.
Each and every Indian player went up to Sangakkara and shook hands with him. Some of them patted his back in appreciation of his glorious career where he tallied 12,400 runs (5th most in history) in 134 Tests at an impressive average of 57.40 (best among the Top-10 run-getters list at the moment).
As in the first innings, Indian players and umpires lined up to give a guard of honour for Sangakkara.
At the ground, Sangakkara's parents, wife, children and friends were in attendance. Soon after his exit from the batting crease, many fans started to leave the ground.
They all came to salute their hero. And they hoped for a big knock, but it was not to be. But in an illustrious career spanning 15 years, he won the hearts of not only the Sri Lankans but millions around the globe.
Sri Lanka and world cricket will miss him.