Sri Lanka's Samaraweera retires
Sri Lankan batsman Thilan Samaraweera, who survived a militant’s bullet in an attack on his team’s bus in Pakistan in 2009, retired from international cricket on Wednesday.
Samaraweera, 36, said his decision to quit was fuelled by the decision of the selectors to drop him from the opening Test against Bangladesh which starts in Galle from Friday.
“I was shocked with my omission from the squad against Bangladesh,” the middle-order batsman told reporters, adding he had been told by the selectors that they may need him for the tour of Pakistan later this year.
“There was no point in waiting for nine months. I respect the decision of the selectors to go with young players and decided it was the right time for me to retire.”
Samaraweera will, however, play for Worcestershire in English county cricket this year.
He was a key figure in Sri Lanka’s batting line-up for more than a decade, compiling 5,462 runs in 81 Tests at an average of 48.76 with 14 centuries.
Samaraweera also played 53 one-day internationals, scoring 862 runs at 27.80 with two hundreds.
Samaraweera was hit by a bullet in the left thigh when militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus which was on way to the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore for a Test match. The attack left eight people dead.
It was a tribute to his mental toughness that he returned to Test cricket in July the same year after undergoing surgery.
Samaraweera scored an unbeaten century on Test debut against India in Colombo in 2001. His hundred in Durban in 2011 helped Sri Lanka win their maiden Test in South Africa.
Samaraweera’s form dipped on a recent tour of Australia where he managed just 79 runs in six Test innings, the dismal performance eventually leading to his ouster from the squad against Bangladesh and his retirement.