Hobart Hurricanes coach Damien Wright believes telling Sri Lankan superstar Kumar Sangakkara he was dropped from their BBL match against the Thunder was the hardest thing he's ever had to do.
After a poor run of form with the bat, Wright knew he had to drop Sangakkara for youngster Ben McDermott, but that didn't make the decision any easier for the Hobart coach.
“It was really difficult, it was comfortably the hardest thing I’ve had to do,” Wright told cricket.com.au following Hobart's loss to Sydney.
“Only because of the quality person that he is, he’s a quality man and a wonderful bloke to have around. He’d be the first to admit it hasn’t gone to plan, in regards to of scoring a lot of runs for us.
“I was going over things in my head (before telling Sangakkara he’d been dropped) and about what to say.
“I slept on it and I went and met him the next day, and he showed the quality of person he is to sit there and totally understand where we were coming from.
“You could feel he probably knew it was coming. He was pretty apologetic that he hasn’t gone as well he would have liked it.
“Afterwards, I just thought, ‘he’s one of the best blokes I’ve ever had the experience of working with.’”
When looking at the veteran's BBL record it's hard to disagree with Wright, as Sangakkara's 13 matches in the tournament have only yielded 173 runs at just 14.41.
The 39-year-old made just three against Adelaide in his last match for the side before his axing, which Wright said was even more difficult because of the legendary status of Sangakkara.
“He’s one of the great players of all time, which made things really, really difficult from a personal point of view,” Wright added.
“It was really hard personally because of his record in the game and the way he is as a man, as a bloke.
“He’s just a really humble guy, and it’s hard to leave good people out of teams.”
Despite dropping the Sri Lankan, Wright didn't rule out a reprieve for Sangakkara, with a place in the side still up for grabs for Perth's trip to Melbourne given his ability to combat spinners.
“They have the likes of (Sunil) Narine and (Brad) Hogg, and Tom Cooper – he’s only part-time bowler – but he’s still been doing a great job for them up-front,” he said.
“There’s some quality spinners in that team and you know that Kumar is a really good player of spin.”
“So he’ll certainly be in our 13 to go to Melbourne and we’ll just have to decide on our starting line-up when we get there.”