A partnership beyond the field: Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene

A partnership beyond the field: Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene

kumar sangakkara and mahela jayawardene
Over 50000 combined runs, that includes more than 100 centuries at an average close to 45. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

A partnership beyond the field: Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene: Every cricket team in the world runs at the back of partnerships. For India, it was Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar, for Pakistan it was Mohammed Yousuf and Younis Khan, for Australia it was Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting while for the Sri Lankans it has been done by Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene over the past decade.

Every partnership is built on the back of solid friendships, that has been built long ago and trusted over the years and so is the case with both Jayawardene and Sangakkara. In a recent interview, the two greats revealed that it was their 20 years of friendship that came the ship steady despite of 3 World Cup losses in the finals and Sangakkara missing Jayawardene’s wedding.

Kumara Sangakkara, who belongs to Kandy and Mahela Jayawardene, who lives in Colombo, first met each other at the age of 16. They played only twice against each other in those days, in school level matches but the wheel started to move when Sangakkara moved to Colombo and both of them started to play club and international cricket together.

But out of the two, Jayawardene was the first one to catch the eye of the selectors, as by the time Sangakkara was 17, the former had already made it to the Under 23 and the A side before being elevated to the position of vice-captain before Sanga’s debut. However, the friendship started because when they were new to the national side, there were a lot of senior players in the side and they needed someone of their age to confide in and both of them mutually agrees that it was because of Muttiah Muralitharan that their friendship really got going.

Both of them love trying out new food and culture of foreign lands to such an extent that they believe the adventures of travelling were far more than that of playing. When they got hard times overseas, they confided in each other, discussed their mistakes and enjoyed the foreign culture. The strength of their friendship and their love for sea foods is such that they own a chain of restaurants known as “Ministry of Crabs” in Colombo.

Let us have a look at few achievements which Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardane mutually achieved in their career, both on and off the field:

  • Over 50000 combined runs, that includes more than 100 centuries at an average close to 45.
  • They have mutually lost 4 World Cup Finals (World Cup 2007, World T20 2009, World Cup 2011 and World T20 2012) as captains, but got the 5th time lucky in the finals as sneaked past India in the finals of the World T20 2014.
  • They own the record of the highest partnership for any wicket in test cricket, 624 runs from 157 overs at close to 4 runs an over and included 78 fours and 1 six.
  • They own a chain of sea food restaurants, known as “Ministry of Crabs” in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.
  • Jayawardene’s wife was maid of honour at Sangakkara’s wedding but Sangakkara missed Jayawardene’s wedding because he was on a tour with the cricket team to India.
  • They are just second to the pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly in terms of Overall Partnership runs by a pair, 5782 runs from 144 innings at an average of 42.20