Hyderabad, Apr 13: Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara on Thursday was grateful and expressed happiness on being chosen as the Wisden 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 skipper of Deccan Charges, told reporters at an event.
Sangakkara was thankful to former Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy, whose wicketkeeping tips 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.
At an event, Sangakkara along with his Deccan teammates and coach Darren Lehmann, interacted with young cricketers and 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 is not only a leading batsman, but a world class wicket-keeper as well, "The body position is very important. Sometimes these may look like very little things but they make all the difference between an average keeper and a good one. It is important to keep the head steady and watch the ball at all times. All other things will follow." Sangakkara said.