Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath to retire after England Test series opener

Annette Crawford
October 22, 2018

An England and Wales Cricket Board statement said: 'He will be monitored and assessed on a daily basis by the England medical team in Sri Lanka and a further update given in due course on his fitness ahead of the three-match Test series next month'.

Never one to extract prodigious turn off the pitch like Sri Lankan spin great Muttiah Muralitharan could do, Herath relied more on his unrelenting accuracy and subtle changes of pace and flight of the ball to trouble batsmen. Among now active bowlers, he has the third best tally - behind James Anderson [564] and Stuart Broad [433] - on the bowlers' list.

Jonny Bairstow faces a race to be fit for the start of England's Test series against Sri Lanka after being ruled out of the last two limited-overs games with ankle ligament damage.

The 40-year-old, who has been managing knee injuries for several years, will bring down the curtain on his glorious career at the same venue where he made his debut 19 years ago. He has the chance to go past Sir Richard Hadlee (431), Stuart Broad (433) and Kapil Dev (434) in his last Test.The 40-year-old made his worldwide debut in 1999 but with Muralitharan in the side, he could not cement his place till the off-spinner's retirement in 2010. Rangana Herath picked 71 of his wickets in this phase at a paltry bowling average of 37.88. However, the tally improved significantly since the retirement of Muralitharan.

"Rangana Herath to retire from global cricket after the first test against England at Galle", Sri Lanka Cricket said in a text message.

His retirement will leave a substantial hole in the Sri Lanka side, with offspinner Dilruwan Perera likeliest to replace him as leader of the spin attack for the remainder of the England series at least.

That the 100-Test milestone will remain unachieved is in no way a blight on a fabulous career accentuated by persistence and grit. Come November first week, Galle will prepare to send-off another crowd hearthrob in style - who, with just one more wicket to his name, will become just the second bowler to pick 100 Test wickets at the venue.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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