THE future of cricket in Dorset is looking “healthy”, according to Sri Lanka legend and county resident Kumar Sangakkara.

Famed wicketkeeper-batter Sangakkara scored more than 28,000 runs across all three formats for his country, also captaining the side and winning the 2014 T20 World Cup.

And for the past two years he has lived in north Dorset, integrating himself into society with a number of public appearances, while his children attend Bryanston School.

He has also strapped on the pads to participate in Dorset age group nets and a Bryanston Butterflies game during his time in the county.

READ MORE: Cricket legend Kumar Sangakkara helps raise money for Dorset charity

Sangakkara is also expected to turn out for Shillingstone Cricket Club this summer when his coaching and punditry duties allow.

Speaking exclusively to Echosport, the 46-year-old insisted the well-being of the sport in Dorset looks bright and hopes The Hundred will continue to encourage young people to play the game.

He said: “You’re surrounded by Somerset and Hampshire, two wonderful cricketing hubs.

“The Hundred franchise has been so positive, and with private investment and perhaps ownership coming through from the IPL is an exciting possibility that will help the development of cricket.

“In terms of Dorset, the interest is absolutely high. There are wonderful schools in the area that take part in cricket and a huge amount of social cricket going on.

“Also, semi-professional and professional cricket alongside it. The pathways have been ramped up.

“There are wonderfully experienced personnel in the region who are keen about ensuring a proper development pathway for students.

“With the facilities at Bryanston, and the schools around, they can all play a great part in terms of mapping out that pathway for children into semi-professional cricket and beyond.

“So, I think Dorset cricket’s in a very healthy place.”