Sri Lankan pacer Dhammika Prasad has announced his retirement from international cricket, at the age of 37.
Dhammika last played an international game in 2015 against West Indies. He was forced to take a break from cricket after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in October that year. Prasad returned to first-class cricket after surgery, but could not find a spot in the national side.
Dhammika played 25 Tests, 24 ODIs, and 1 T20I for the Sri Lankan national cricket team. He hopes to make way for the youth as he bids adieu to the game.
"I think this is the right time to retire from international cricket so that the youth can get a chance," Prasad told the Daily News.
The Sri Lankan finished his international career with 107 wickets to his name across all formats. During his early days with the national side, Prasad was known for his pace and variations.
Dhammika Prasad, who has 276 first-class scalps to his name, will continue playing for the Sinhalese Sports Club in domestic cricket. He has been representing the club since 2002.
"I've decided to continue playing in domestic cricket. I have played SSC for 19 years and I have given my best," Dhammika Prasad said.
Rangana Herath and Marvan Atapattu heap praise on Dhammika Prasad
Former Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath heaped praise on his long-time team-mate following Prasad's announcement. Herath recalled several memorable incidents while talking about Dhammika Prasad.
One such incident took place on the fourth day of the Sri Lanka vs England Test at Leeds in 2014. Herath recounted how Dhammika's efforts helped Sri Lanka achieve their first-ever Test series victory in England.
"We had never won a series in England, and when Dhammika took wickets on that fourth day in Leeds, it set us up for victory and that was a remarkable thing," Herath said.
Former Sri Lankan cricketer Marvan Atapattu, who coached Prasad in 2014, also lauded the fast bowler.
"Generally fast bowlers like to bowl with the new ball first thing in the day when the conditions suit them, but Dhammika was someone you could call on anytime," Atapattu said.