Colombo:Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara on Monday paid tribute to retiring Indian batsman Sourav Ganguly, saying the former captain gave his team the strength of character that is now yielding big wins for it.
"I think it is a sad day when a great player from any country retires especially Dada when he is retiring. I think it is sadder for the Asian sub continent in general because he has been a fantastic servant of the game," he said. Ganguly bid adieu to international cricket after India's 2-0 series triumph over Australia on Monday.
"In my opinion he is the captain who gave India the strength of character to compete on the world arena and stand up to teams like Australia," he said.
Sangakkara said he grew up watching Ganguly and learned a lot even while playing against him.
"I have got to know Dada quite well over the years. I know and respect him as an individual and as a great cricket player and I have grown up watching him batting and I have had the pleasure and privilege of playing with him and against him.
"I wish him all the best in the future and I know that he leaves with the respect of all his team mates and also the opponents who have played against him over the years," he added.