Herath retirement set to hand Sri Lanka a statistical record
Rangana Herath, the Sri Lankan left-arm spinner with 430 Test match wickets, is all set to call time on his career when Sri Lanka face off with England in Galle next month. The 40-year-old, who spent most of his 19-year career warming the benches in the giant shadow cast by Muralitharan- Sri Lanka's go-to man for ages, still manages to bid adieu has the highest wicket taking left-arm bowler in Test history. Since Murali's retirement in 2010, Herath has taken 359 Test Wickets, second to only James Anderson, who has played 25 Tests more.
Herath's retirement at Galle, the venue where he has 99 wickets to date, also brings to an end Test Cricket's connect to the 20th century as the man is the only active cricketer who made his Test debut in the previous century. However, all is not gloom. Not for the number nerds at least, as Herath's retirement at Galle creates a unique triplet and hands Sri Lankan a rather sophisticated statistical record.
Herath, who has played 92 Tests to date, will end his career with 93 Tests to his name - the same as fellow Sri Lankan legends Arjuna Ranatunga and Arvinda de Silva, making 93 the highest number of Tests on which at least 3 Sri Lankans have ended their career. The current record is a measly 23 Tests- the mark at which the careers of Ravindra Pushpakumara, Rumesh Ratnayake, and Sidath Wettimuny ended.
If we expand our search to the entire cricketing fraternity, the record is 118 Tests- played by the trio Ian Bell, Graham Gooch and Younis Khan. However, if we were to look at the highest number of Tests for which 3 or more players from the same country ended their career, the 93 of the Sri Lankan trio would take the cake. The current record is 79, on which a staggering 5 English players- Mike Gatting, Len Hutton, Matt Prior, Alan Lamb, and Tom Graveney, ended their careers.