Kumar Chokshanada Sangakkara (Sinhala: කුමාර් චෝක්ෂනාද සංගක්කාර) (born 27 October 1977, Matale, Sri Lanka) is a Sri Lankan cricketer and captain of the Sri Lanka national cricket team. He is a left-handed top-order batsman. He used to play as a wicket-keeper and top-order batsman in all forms of the game, but has stopped doing so in Tests as his batting average is significantly higher in Tests when he plays as a pure batsman. He was ranked as the number 1 Test batsman in the world several times during his career.
Sangakkara began his career as a batsman but subsequently became a wicket-keeper. His batting has developed to such an extent that he once topped the LG ICC Test batting rankings. However, in 2006 he gave the gloves to Prasanna Jayawardene in Tests and has since played as a specialist batsman. He remains Sri Lanka's wicket-keeper in One Day International and Twenty20 cricket. As of September 2009, he was ranked 1st on the Test batting rankings. Sangakkara peaked at 6th on the ICC all-time Test batting rankings.
Sangakkara likes to hit the ball square of the wicket on the off-side and upon making a century. consistently continues on past 150. On the 6 December 2007 he was named as the new Number 1 batsman in the LG ICC Test player rankings with a rating of 938, the highest rating ever achieved by a Sri Lankan player, and became the first batsman ever to score in excess of 150 in four consecutive tests. His skill was recognized worldwide when he earned selection for the ICC World XI One International Day team that competed against Australia in the Johnnie Walker Series in October 2005. He holds the record for fastest 8000 runs (152 innings) in Test cricket. He broke the previous record set by Sachin Tendulkar (154 innings) during the third test against India on 6 August 2010. Despite the World XI losing all of the one-day games by considerable margins, Sangakkara left the series with some credit, averaging 46.
Sangakkara was billed as a future captain of Sri Lanka. On Sri Lanka's tour to England in May 2006, he was named the vice-captain of the side. In March 2009 he was appointed to captain the Sri Lankan team for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20. Sangakkara has won a certain degree of admiration for his clever use of sledging and is one of few cricketers who are willing to talk about it openly.
In Sangakkara's first World Cup as captain, Sri Lanka reached the finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 tournament. Throughout the tournament Sangakkara was in prolific form with the bat and was the third highest run scorer behind Tillakaratne Dilshan and India's Sachin Tendulkar. In nine One Day international matches, he scored 465 with 44 boundaries and five Sixes. His top score in the tournament was 111 which he scored against New Zeland at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.