Kumar Sangakkara offered a role in politics by Sri Lanka president

Kumar Sangakkara & Maithripala Sirisena
Kumar Sangakkara was offered the role at the post-match presentation

Kumar Sangakkara was offered the post of Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to the UK after his farewell Test match.

After India had wrapped up victory in the second Test in Colombo, batsman Sangakkara was paraded around the ground on the shoulders of team-mates.

He was also presented with a signed shirt by India captain Virat Kohli before being addressed by Sri Lanka's president in a televised ceremony.

"You have been a great honour to Sri Lanka," said Maithripala Sirisena.

Sirisena then offered the island's top envoy in Britain to Sangakkara, who laughed in surprise.

The left-hander later said: "It was a surprise, I have to go and think about it and discuss with his excellency [the president].

"I respect the offer made by the president. I don't have enough experience or knowledge to do a job like that."

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Kumar Sangakkara's wife Yehali was present for his farewell Test
Kumar Sangakkara's wife Yehali was present for his farewell Test

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In a previous interview with BBC Sinhala earlier this year, Sangakkara had said he was unlikely to move into politics.

In 2011, he gave the MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord's, and was widely praised for an eloquent speech in which he criticised the corruption and lack of accountability in his country's cricket administration.

He has been a member of MCC's World Cricket Committee since 2012.

Sangakkara's next immediate role is to fulfil the rest of his contract with English county side Surrey this summer.

Sri Lanka-based BBC reporter Azzam Ameen was at the P Sara Oval for Sangakkara's farewell and he said it was an emotional afternoon.

Ameen said: "The crowds came in their numbers to say goodbye to their country's greatest batsman.

"Not just the greatest batsman, but the whole package. His charity work, role model, leadership and public speaking. They all will be missed.

"Most of them felt sad that this would be the last day they will see their hero, one poster in the crowd summed up the feeling of the most Sri Lankans. It read: 'I didn't feel sad this much when my girlfriend left me'."

Sangakkara, 37, was dismissed for 18 on the fourth evening at the P Sara Oval, leaving him with 12,400 Test runs at an average of 57.40.

He retires as Sri Lanka's highest run-scorer, and the fifth highest overall in Test history.

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