Hyderabad: Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara on Thursday expressed happiness on being named Wisden's leading cricketer in the world and one of its five cricketers of the year.
"It's a great honour. Very humbled and privileged. I have had a good year in 2011. Hopefully, I will have a couple of more fruitful years before I finish," Sangakkara, the captain of the IPL franchise Deccan Chargers, told reporters here at an event.
Sangakkara said that Australian cricketer Ian Healy's advice on wicketkeeping helped him a lot.
"When I started, I wasn't a natural wicketkeeper but it was a case of making sure that you went and spoke to the right people. I have been to a few wicketkeeping coaches. Sometimes, they confused me more than actually teaching me something.
"The real change came when I met Ian Healy. He simplified wicketkeeping to such an extent that I was able to really understand it," he revealed.
Meanwhile, Sangakkara along with his Deccan Chargers teammates and coach Darren Lehmann offered a few tips to a group of children.
"I never played cricket when I was this age. This is all a new experience for me. When I started playing cricket, I was about 12 or a bit older. I never had this kind of experience when I was six or seven. But this is great, the kids start out like this. It is also important that when they start off this younger, they have fun," said Sangakkara.
"They should not restrain and play to their natural game and try and hit the ball. They must enjoy and because of that enjoyment, they want to take it further and learn the technique. And once they are old, they understand things better. But, first of all, they need to have fun," he added.
Sangakkara said that Aravinda De Silva, Russel Arnold, Hashan Tilakaratne were among the top Sri Lankan cricketers whom he had first met.
Lehmann, Manpreet Gony and Amit Mishra expressed happiness over helping the kids learn the game.