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Rangana Herath to retire in November

By Unnikrishnan
Sri Lanka left-arm spinner Rangana Herath may retire after the home series against England in November

Colombo, July 12: Veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath may retire after a 19-year career, following England's three-Test tour of Sri Lanka.

In an interview with BBC Sinhala, Herath hinted that the Test series in November against England 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," he said.

If Herath plays every Sri Lankan Test until the end of the England series, he will finish with 95 Tests. Herath is the most prolific left-arm spinner in Tests, having scalped 418 Test victims. He is the last remaining international cricketer to have played in the 20th century, having made his debut in September 1999 against Australia.

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His career flourished after the retirement of the Sri Lankan great off-spinner, Muthiah Muralidaran in 2008. Since the retirement of Muralitharan, Herath has played 68 Tests, and picked up 347 wickets, becoming a menace for Sri Lanka's opponents with his nagging accuracy and skill sets.

"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," he added.

Herath also said that he will consult the Sri Lankan coach Chandika Hathurusingha and Dinesh Chandimal, the captain, with regards to his future. He placed his confidence in Sri Lanka's new-look spin contingent, with Dilruwan Perera, Akila Dhananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan capable of outfoxing batsmen in their future matches and keep Sri Lanka going.

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    Story first published: Thursday, July 12, 2018, 16:20 [IST]
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