Herath to retire after first Test against England

Veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath will call it quits from the longest format of the game after the first Test against England at Galle.

Herath, who has 430 Test scalps to his name, is second on Sri Lanka’s list of leading wicket-takers – behind Muttiah Muralitharan, who has 800 wickets. Among currently active bowlers, he has the third best tally – behind James Anderson [564] and Stuart Broad [433] – on the bowlers’ list.

The first Test against England at Galle – starting from November 6 – will present an opportunity for him to leave even Broad behind and cap off his Test career in style at Galle.

Herath made his Test debut back in 1999 but was at the peak of his powers only after Sri Lanka’s premier spinner Muttiah Muralitharan called time on his career. Of the 92 Tests Herath has played so far, 22 of them came in the period between his debut and July 2010 – the time when Muralitharan retired. Herath picked 71 of his wickets in this phase at an unflattering bowling average of 37.88.

But the numbers improved exponentially once there was a Muralitharan-shaped void in Sri Lanka’s Test side. In less than eight years since the retirement, Herath has featured in 70 of the 81 Tests that Sri Lanka have played, and has picked 359 wickets at 25.98