Rangana Herath to retire after first Test against England

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka’s veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath will call it quits from the longest format of the game after the first Test against England at Galle – the same venue where he made his Test debut in nineteen-years ago.

Herath is second on Sri Lanka’s list of leading wicket-takers – behind Muttiah Muralitharan, who has 800 wickets. Among currently active bowlers, he has the third best tally – behind James Anderson [564] and Stuart Broad [433] – on the bowlers’ list. With 430 Test scalps already ahead of his final game, Herath will go down in Test history as the most successful left-arm spinner.

Herath made his Test debut back in 1999 but was at the peak of his powers only after Sri Lanka’s premier spinner Muttiah Muralitharan called time on his career. Of the 92 Tests Herath has played so far, 22 of them came in the period between his debut and July 2010 – the time when Muralitharan retired. Herath picked 71 of his wickets in this phase at an unflattering bowling average of 37.88.

But the numbers improved exponentially once there was a Muralitharan-shaped void in Sri Lanka’s Test side. In eight years since the retirement, Herath has featured in 70 of the 81 Tests that Sri Lanka have played, and has picked 359 wickets at 25.98.

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