Rangana Herath may hang up his boots after a nineteen-year career, following England’s three-Test tour of Sri Lanka.
In an interview with BBC Sinhala, the 40-year old spinner indicated that the Test series in November could be his last, having retired from white-ball cricket in 2016 to prolong his Test career.
“Maybe my final series will be the England series later in the year,” he said. “Following this South Africa series, there is another three months until the England series. For now, this is what I’ve planned for.”
“There comes a time for every cricketer when they have to stop playing. I think that time has come for me.”
If Herath plays every Sri Lankan Test until the end of the England series, he will finish five short of the hallowed 100 Test mark.
Herath is the most prolific left-arm bowler in Tests, having scalped 418 Test victims. He is the last remaining international cricketer to have played in the twentieth century, having made his debut in September 1999 against Australia.
However, it was only after the retirement of the Sri Lankan great, Muthiah Muralidaran in 2008, that his career flourished. He has since played 68 Tests, and picked up 347 wickets, becoming a menace for Sri Lanka’s opponents with his nagging accuracy and skill.
“I’m really glad I’ve been able to play as long as I have,” Herath remarked. “But the most important thing is that of those 18 years, I wasn’t able to play for Sri Lanka for about seven of those years. I’m proud of what I was able to do in those seven years – the training I did, and the desire I had, especially.”
Herath also said that he will consult the Sri Lankan coach Chandika Hathurusingha and Dinesh Chandimal, the captain, with regards to his future. He further placed his confidence in Sri Lanka’s spin contingent, with Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dhananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan capable of outfoxing batsmen in their future matches.
Herath will get to add to his large tally of wickets on Thursday, when Sri Lanka takes on South Africa in the first Test at Galle.