London, April 21:
Sri Lanka’s batting great Kumar Sangakkara enjoyed his first experience of batting with Kevin Pietersen at English county side Surrey and said he wants England and Pietersen to settle matters which might help the English batsman find a way to return to international cricket.
The pair spent 37 minutes together at the crease on the first day of their County Championship season-opener at Glamorgan on Sunday before Pietersen was removed for a 28-ball 19.
But Sangakkara, who began his two-year deal at Surrey with a 230-ball 149, said there is no doubt about Pietersen’s quality.
“The presence of KP is very important. When he walks out into the middle, his confidence and aura create immediate pressure on the bowling,” the 37-year-old Sri Lankan was quoted as saying by the guardian.
“You have a fantastic player but there has been some controversy and strain in the relationship between him and the England and Wales Cricket Board. I think the spectators want to watch KP in the middle and, when you have a batsman of that stature and ability, I reckon even the side would like him there,” he said.
“It’s not my call to make but I just hope they iron out their differences. He’s an out-and-out match winner,” Sangakkara said. (IANS)