Sangakkara tipped to play on

The left-hander is due to retire from one-day internationals after the World Cup, where he is the leading run-scorer after scoring hundreds in four successive matches.

Sangakkara is the first man to achieve that feat in ODIs, but so far not even the pleading of his captain Angelo Mathews has persuaded the 37-year-old to rethink his future.

Next up for the Sri Lankans is Wednesday’s quarter-final against South Africa, and ahead of the first knockout tie Sanath Jayasuriya added his voice to those calling on Sangakkara to stay on.

“I would love him to keep playing.” said Jayasuriya, who was just two days short of his 42nd birthday when he played the last of his 445 ODIs. “He can go on longer. It all depends on him.

“The way he’s playing is really good. It’s confidence for the boys also and all the players are playing really well too.

“Since he came into the side in 2000 he has been working really hard, his keeping, his batting and he wants to improve his game every day.

“That’s what he he’s doing even when he’s playing his last one-day series. He’s doing his best all the time, he’s doing his basics right and he wants to do well in the middle. I would love him to carry on for another few years, the way he’s playing. It’s all in his hands.”

In the short-term it is down to South Africa to stop the World Cup’s star performer, and their coach Russell Domingo is hoping to catch Sangakkara on a rare off-day.

“He’s in the form of his life,” Domingo said. “He’s got four hundreds and you’ve got to think that there’s a lower score just around the corner.”