Melbourne: Sri Lankan veteran Kumar Sangakkara is poised to join the exclusive 10,000-run club in the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne against Australia, a landmark he plans to build on. The prolific batsman needs just 40 more runs in his 115th Test to join the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid and Jacques Kallis to complete the milestone.
"I think 10,000 Test runs is that separation between a batsman who will probably be remembered a bit more than the rest," the left-hander told reporters on Sunday. "It's pretty good to be almost there. And then hopefully beyond 10,000 as well." With 9,960 runs at a magnificent average of 55.64, Sangakkara only sits behind skipper Mahela Jayawardene (10,671 at 49.86) on the Sri Lankan all-time list, having made his debut against South Africa in 2000.
Voted Cricketer of the Year by the International Cricket Council in September, he has hit 30 centuries during his Test career and is hoping a large Sri Lankan expat community in Melbourne will help him to another. "Melbourne and Sydney have always traditionally been almost like home games for us," he said. "It will affect the mentality of the side when they see such a lot of support in a foreign country. That sort of atmosphere will help us. But at the same time, it's pretty important not to get carried away by your emotions and the occasion." Sri Lanka trail 1-0 in the three-Test series.