Rangana Herath, the most successful left-arm pitcher in the history of the Test, will retire after the first Test in Galle, having told the selectors that he is reluctant to play a full set of three Tests.
a sentimental place for Herath: not only did he make his test debut there in 1999, but he also needs one more little window to join Muttiah Muralitharan by taking 100 windows on the ground. It was in this place that Herath also resumed his career at the age of 31, taking 10 windows in a Test against Pakistan in 2009, after being suddenly called to the side of the Test while playing English cricket in England.
Herath, 40, has not played a full series of three Tests since January 2017, since he has since left two series in India due to injury, before playing no more than one of the three Tests in the West Indies in June of this year. Herath has had to deal with knee injuries for several years; the tension of carrying the revolving attack of Sri Lanka since the withdrawal of Muralitharan is considered to have overtaken him.
His retirement will leave a substantial hole on the side of Sri Lanka, with the slope of Dilruwan Perera replacing him as leader of the Turn Attack for the rest of the England series at least. Sri Lanka also has three other spinners in the squad: Akila Dananjaya, of the domains of all kinds, the left arm wrist Lakshan Sandakan, and the orthodox player of the left arm, Malinda Pushpakumara. However, of the remaining spinners, only Dilruwan has played more than 10 tests.
A beloved figure throughout the island, Herath's retirement will also end one of the most outstanding careers of modern cricket. Not only is he the tenth most successful test bowler in history with 430 windows, all but 36 of those layoffs occurred after he turned 31, while struggling to keep a place on the Test side in the first decade of his career. No bowler has also taken as many as his 230 windows after turning 35 years old. If he takes five windows in his final Test, he could move to seventh place on the all-time list, beating Richard Hadlee (431 windows), Stuart Broad (433) and Kapil Dev (434).
Herath is also the last active test cricketer who made his debut in the 1990s.
Galle's test starts on November 6.