Sangakkara signs for Surrey

The 37-year-old, who looks set to retire from one-day international cricket following this year’s World Cup, is currently top of the ICC’s Test batting ranking.

He also sits fifth on the all-time Test run-scorers list with 12,203 and the precise dates of his time in England will be finalised after the World Cup, which is being staged in Australia and New Zealand during February and March.

Alec Stewart, Surrey???s director of cricket, said: “We’re delighted that Kumar has agreed to join us.

“He is the number one Test batsman in the world but it’s the special character that he has which is as important to us.

“He is a five-star player and five-star person and that is important because he will be working with our young home grown players as they become serious cricketers at this level.

“He has worked a lot with our coach Graham Ford, when he was in charge of Sri Lanka, and we are both very happy to reach this stage.”

Sangakkara has previously represented Warwickshire and had a two-game stint with Durham last season.