Retiring Herath confident he will not be last of Sri Lankan greats

Rangana Herath confident he will not be last of Sri Lankan greats as he prepares to exit international stage after first Test against England: ‘There is a lot of potential and ability’

  • Rangana Herath is confident he will not be the last of the Sri Lankan greats
  • Herath will bow out of international cricket after the first Test against England
  • The 40-year-old is currently tenth on the list of all-time Test wicket-takers
  • Despite their recent struggles, he is confident for the future of the Sri Lanka side 

Rangana Herath is confident he will not be the last of the Sri Lankan greats.

The left-arm spinner, now 40 years old and tenth on the list of all-time Test wicket-takers with 430, will take his bow from international cricket after this week’s series opener against England in Galle.

When he leaves the field for the final team the Test game will lose its last link with the previous millennium – Herath having debuted against Australia in 1999 – and Sri Lanka will have lost arguably their last recognisably world-class performer in the format.

Rangana Herath (pictured) is confident he will not be the last of the Sri Lankan greats

Rangana Herath (pictured) is confident he will not be the last of the Sri Lankan greats

Herath (pictured) will bow out of international cricket after the first Test against England

Herath (pictured) will bow out of international cricket after the first Test against England

He proved an unexpectedly adept successor when Muttiah Muralitharan retired in 2010, but the loss in recent years of stellar names such as Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan have left Sri Lanka short on elite talent.

Herath, though, holds out hope of a new generation coming up behind. ‘Of course there can be more, even if you take this squad and the one-day squad there is a lot of potential and ability,’ he said at a farewell press conference.

‘If we can give them the right environment and the right mental support you will see great Sri Lankan players in the future as well.

‘Ending your career is not an easy decision to take but you need to take a decision at the right time.

‘For me, this is high time to stop playing international cricket.’

Despite their recent struggles, Herath is confident for the future of the Sri Lanka side

Despite their recent struggles, Herath is confident for the future of the Sri Lanka side

 The 40-year-old spinner is currently tenth on the list of all-time Test wicket-takers

 The 40-year-old spinner is currently tenth on the list of all-time Test wicket-takers

Herath later choked back tears after giving thanks to those who had helped him in his long and storied career.

‘I have given my best to my country, to Sri Lankan cricket and to my team,’ he said.

‘When you are are leaving the sport that you love of course it is a sad moment.’

 

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