Sri Lanka’s veteran spinner Rangana Herath has announced his retirement from international cricket. Sri Lanka’s first of the 3 Tests to be played against England will be the last for Herath. The first Test will be played at the Galle starting November 6 after which the left-arm spinner will bid adieu to the game.
Rangana Herath is currently 40 years old and is one of the oldest active players. His decision comes amidst the turmoil Sri Lankan cricket is in. The side has been struggling for the last couple of years across all formats and the retirement of such an experienced cricketer isn’t going to ease things.
But every good thing comes to an end someday and so has the time run out for Herath. The spinner will leave the game after playing 93 Tests for the country. He has bagged 430 wickets so far at an average of 27.96. Amongst the active players, he is the 3rd highest wicket-taker behind James Anderson (564) and Stuart Broad (433).
Rangana Herath flourished after Murali’s retirement
The left-arm spinner had made his debut way back in 1999 but didn’t get to be a prominent feature in the Sri Lankan side. The legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was at the peak of his powers and Herath couldn’t make the cut due to him. Since his debut and Murali’s retirement, Herath played only 22 Tests.
It was only after Muralitharan’s retirement that Herath became the frontline spinner for the nation. After 2008 when Murali retired, Herath’s numbers have been staggering. He featured in 70 of the 81 Tests that Sri Lanka played and picked up 359 wickets at an average of 25.98.
He became country’s second highest wicket-taker after Muralitharan’s 800. The veteran is also the leading wicket-taker amongst the left-handers in Test cricket. In the one remaining Test, he has a chance of overtaking Sir Richard Hadlee, Stuart Broad and Kapil Dev in terms of wickets taken and finish as the 7th highest wicket-taker of all time.