Sri Lankan bowler Suranga Lakmal has declared that he would retire after his side’s forthcoming tour of India in February-March 2022.
On Wednesday, February 2, the 34-year-old sent a letter to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) expressing his desire to retire and thanking the board for their support over the year.
“I’m indebted to Sri Lanka Cricket for giving me this astonishing opportunity and having faith in me to bring back my motherland honour as it has been an absolute pleasure to be associated with the board that shaped my professional life and also enriched my personal development,” said Lakmal in his letter.
“I have nothing but the utmost respect for all my players, coaches, team managers, support staff, administrative staff and all other support staff.”
Lakmal has represented Sri Lanka across all formats in 165 international matches across forms in a 12-year career, taking 285 wickets at an average of 34.94. He was a member of the Sri Lankan team that won the T20 World Cup in 2014.
The former Sri Lankan captain made his ODI debut in 2009, and he went on to play 86 games for the national team, taking 109 wickets at an average of 32.42. His finest bowling performance came against India in Dharamsala in 2017, when he bowled figures of 10-4-13-4 to help dismiss the host side for just 112 runs.
“We take this opportunity to wish Lakmal the very best for his future endeavours, and looking forward to seeing him perform for the country during the Sri Lanka Tour of India, if the selectors consider him for the tour,’’ said Ashley De Silva, CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket.
“Lakmal has been an excellent contributor for Sri Lanka Cricket and delivered some memorable spells during his national career, and his services will be remembered well,’’ added De Silva.
In the longer format, the right-arm bowler has 168 wickets at 36.28, including four five-fors, with his best figures of 5/47 coming against the West Indies in North Sound in 2021. He was an important part of Sri Lanka’s first ICC World Test Championship campaign, taking 20 wickets in seven matches and ending as the team’s second-highest wicket-taker.