Sri Lanka are set to bid goodbye to a legend in the near future with veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath announcing his decision to bring his international career to an end after the first Test against England at Galle.
Herath, one of Sri Lanka's all-time leading wicket-takers with 430 Test scalps to his credit, announced his decision on Monday, according to a report on island.lk. The first of the three Tests that England are slotted to play against hosts Sri Lanka after the conclusion of the limited-overs fixtures will be Herath's 93rd and final Test appearance.
"Herath had made a request to retire after the first Test in Galle. It is entirely up to him and we will respect his decision," a Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) official was quoted as saying in the report.
The 40-year-old, one of the few active cricketers to have played the sport internationally in the 1990s, had quit limited-overs cricket back in April 2016, choosing to focus his energy on the longest format of the game. The left-arm spinner's limited-overs record is modest compared to his Test achievements, having collected 74 and 18 wickets from 71 and 17 appearances in ODIs and T20Is respectively.
Herath's is the fourth high-profile retirement in Sri Lankan cricket in the last three years following Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara (both 2015) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (2016).
Herath, meanwhile, needs one more wicket to complete the milestone of 100 wickets at Galle, also the venue where he made his international comeback in 2009.
Sri Lanka and England lock horns in the fifth and final one-day international at Colombo's R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday, with the visiting side having already clinched the series 3-0. The two teams then face off in a one-off T20I, before the Test series gets underway with the first match taking place at Galle between 6-10 November.