(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – Portraits of former Sri Lanka stars Jayawardena and Sangakkara to go on display at the Home of Cricket.
Few players get the chance to walk past their own portrait on their way out to bat, and even less have the honour of doing so at Lord’s.
But that’s exactly what Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara will do after the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) announced they’ll unveil recently-commissioned portraits of him and fellow Test star Mahela Jayawardena on Friday (19).
The two paintings will go on display in the Lord’s Pavilion on the opening day of Middlesex’s County Championship match against London-rivals Surrey, for whom Sangakkara is playing his third season for.
They will hang alongside portraits of fellow greats including Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Viv Richards at the Home of Cricket.
Both Sangakkara and Jayawardena took part in six separate sittings with the artist, Antony Williams, who has previously been commissioned to paint a portrait of the Queen.
The Sri Lankan pair are both depicted in casual attire by their own choice.
“I was humbled when I was asked to sit for the portrait commissioned by MCC,” Sangakkara said in a Marylebone Cricket Club statement. “It is a great honour to be on the walls (at Lord’s).
“I wanted to know how I would be represented through Antony’s eyes; not just my expressions or my physical appearance but how he would interpret me as a whole.
“Having seen the final portrait, I was so very pleasantly surprised, unnerved and a bit embarrassed seeing myself in a frame on canvas but thoroughly happy with the work done.”
Jayawardena, who is currently in India fulfilling coaching duties with Indian Premier League outfit Mumbai Indians, won’t be present for the launch.
However the former Sri Lanka Captain may have the chance to take a closer look at his portrait later this year when he arrives in the United Kingdom (UK) to play for Lancashire in England’s domestic T20 competition.
MCC Curator of Collections Adam Chadwick said Jayawardena and Sangakkara were taking their rightful place next to some of the game’s finest players.
“MCC regularly commissions portraits of players who have captivated a generation of cricket fans in all forms of the game, all around the world, and both Kumar and Mahela fit the bill perfectly,” Chadwick said.
“I am delighted with these additions to the MCC Collection and am sure that they will be enjoyed by visitors to Lord’s for years to come.”
The four-day match between Sangakkara’s Surrey, who sit top of the Division One table, and hosts Middlesex, captained by former Australia batsman Adam Voges, gets underway on Friday evening AEST.