Kulasekara Announces Test Retirement; Wants To Focus On Limited Overs Cricket
NEW DELHI: Veteran Sri Lankan seamer Nuwan Kulasekara announced his retirement from Test Cricket yesterday. Kulasekara took 48 wickets in 21 tests. He played his last test in 2014 at Lord’s.
"I would like to retire from playing Test cricket with immediate effect," said Kulasekara in a press release. "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."
The 33-year-old utility cricketer made his test debut against New Zealand in Napier. He could not make much impact and took only one wicket in that match. In a test career spanning 11 years, Kulasekara gained the reputation of a balling all-rounder: a medium pace swing bowler and a useful lower order batsman. He managed to score only one fifty in test cricket; his highest score was 64 which he made against England toiling on the fifth day to save the test for Sri Lanka in 2006.
Arguably a better limited overs cricketer, Kulasekara could not make a big impact on the Test arena owing to his lack of pace and lack of efficiency with the older ball. This is reflected by the fact that he could manage to play only 21 tests in 11 years; on the other hand, he has 186 wickets in 173 one-day internationals. He even earned the top spot in ODI rankings in March 2009.
His best performance in test cricket were the two four-wicket hauls he took against Pakistan in Colombo in 2009 to finish with a match figure of 8 for 58 in 28.4 overs. His last test at Lord’s is widely remembered for the Sri Lankan resilience; the match finished in a nail-biting draw.
His retirement comes at a time when Sri Lankan cricket is in a phase of transition: big shoes of the likes of Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Jayasuriya, Muralidharan etc are still not filled. There is lack of consistency in the performances of late, and the selectors will have a tough time ahead to find a balanced team.
Sri Lanka is currently playing a test series in England. After two tests, England have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three match series.