COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath, the most successful left-arm spinner in test history, will retire after the series opener against England in Galle next month, local media reported on Monday.
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.
Sri Lanka’s The Island newspaper reported that Herath had made a request to the country’s cricket board (SLC) to allow him to quit in Galle.
“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,” the daily quoted an unnamed board official as saying.
Ahead of Sri Lanka’s two-match test series against South Africa at home in July, Herath had said he was contemplating retirement in November. He retired from one-day and twenty20 internationals in 2016.
“Maybe my final series will be the England series later in the year,” he told the BBC. “There comes a time for every cricketer, when they have to stop playing. I think that time has come for me.”
Herath has taken 430 wickets in 92 tests and is 10th on the list of most successful bowlers in the five-day format. He has 34 five-wicket hauls and has taken 10 wickets or more on nine occasions.
For most of his career he was overshadowed by Sri Lankan spin great Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 800 tests wickets before retiring from the format in 2010 – also at Galle.
Herath has been the leader of Sri Lanka’s spin attack since the retirement of Muralitharan but has struggled in recent years with the persistent knee injuries.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Nick Mulvenney)