Rangana Herath, the current Sri Lankan left-arm spinner is likely to call time on his career after the 2016 World T20 in India. Herath, who is nearing 38 years of age, admitted that his retirement call would be sooner than later. Herath’s knee injury is said to be a key factor behind his decision to retire from international cricket. Herath recently spun Sri Lanka to a famous victory in Galle against India while defending a low total in the fourth innings.
“With my age you cannot perform the way you did some 10-15 years ago. From my fitness I am doing the maximum with the injury, I am struggling a little bit on it,” Herath said. “I cannot give a guarantee with my bowling or my fitness. I am trying to retain whatever energy I have and to prolong my career I have reduced the number of one-day matches and play only Tests,” said Herath. The left arm bowler also missed a few games for Sri Lanka in the 2015 World Cup.
“If I put a target to end my career I will not be able to give my maximum to the team. Every time I play I look to give 100% to the team. But before long I will have to take a decision on my future. I will decide after the World T20 which is to be played in India next year. We are the reigning champions and we have a good chance of defending it with the present team although they lack in a bit in experience,” said Herath.
He also added that his ongoing knee injury was hampering his bowling. “I did an operation on both knees in 2011 for damaged cartilage,” Herath said. “I had a clean-up and I had no problem playing after that. But of late I have been getting pains. It is four years since the operation and the effect of it must have worn off over the years due to the wear and tear while playing.”
“I sometimes get the pain on my knees when I start to run but not when I am bowling. I have been working with the physios, trainers and the medical staff how best to manage my injury and taking tablets and taping myself when I play in matches,” said the Sri Lankan.
Herath then spoke about assisting Angello Mathews with some tactical decisions and giving his inputs. “Even when Mahela and Sanga were around as a bowler I offered advice and assistance to Angelo. In future, Angelo will require the support of all the team members. As a senior player, I also have a responsibility to support him, especially from the bowling side. If you take our bowling unit apart from Dhammika and me the rest have not played many matches. When you play with an inexperienced bowling unit, the captain will need to have a lot of patience because you will not get the breaks every time you need them.”
“In the past five-six years it has been this bowling unit which has been shuffled around and played. We always look as a team to build partnerships with the bowling unit. If anyone is bowling well from one side, not consistently bowling maiden overs but lessening the number of loose balls and not allowing batsmen the freedom to score, the strike bowler has more chances of taking wickets.”