Sri Lankan seamer Nuwan Kulasekara announces retirement from Tests
Nuwan Kulasekara will continue to play in the shorter formats for his country
Sri Lankan fast bowler Nuwan Kulasekara announced his retirement from Tests today. The 33-year-old seamer played 21 Tests for his country and last played the longer format of the game two years ago against England at Lord’s in 2014. Not being a regular member of the team in the longest format of the game, the seamer decided to call it quits and put more focus on the shorter formats.
Kulasekara was quoted saying, "I would like to retire from playing Test cricket with immediate effect.” He also added, "After much thought I believe it is the right time to retire and I hope it will allow me to better prepare for ODI and T20 cricket, which I would like to continue playing for Sri Lanka subject to good performance and selection.”
Predominantly a swing bowler, Kulasekara enjoyed more success in the shorter formats and his performance in Tests wasn’t that impressive either. He had 48 Test scalps to his name at an average of 37.37. Kulasekara was quite handy with the bat too. Batting in the lower order, the Sri Lankan scored his maiden Test fifty against England at Lord's in 2006.
With a scurrying run-up and an open-chested action, Kulasekara is capable of moving the ball off the seam. He was a decent exponent of reverse-swing, his line and length were immaculate as well. The seamer started his career as a softball enthusiast before he shifted his focus to cricket, joining Nugegoda Cricket Club and then the Galle Cricket Club.
With a string of good performances in the beginning of 2008, Kulasekara became one of Sri Lanka's premier strike bowlers. In a 11-month period starting April 2008, he took 47 wickets and that feat helped him jump to the top of the ICC ODI rankings the following March.
Kulasekara made his Test debut in 2005 against New Zealand in Napier. In the two innings of that game, he bowled 36 overs and took just a single wicket conceding 89 runs. The Test was drawn and the star of the Test match was Lasith Malinga who took 9 wickets.
In his last Test in 2014, Kulasekara led the new ball attack for Sri Lanka and picked up 2 wickets in the match. Sri Lanka survived a scare and managed to draw the game. The bowler will continue to don the national colours in the shorter formats and Sri Lankan cricket needs someone experienced like him to mentor the young bowlers in the squad.