Upul Tharanga Retires From International Cricket; Represented Sri Lanka For 15 Years
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Upul Tharanga Retires From International Cricket; Represented Sri Lanka For 15 Years

Upul Tharanga Matthew Childs/Reuters
Upul Tharanga Matthew Childs/Reuters

Upul Tharanga, Sri Lanka’s veteran opening batsman has drawn curtains on his 15-year old international career. Upul Tharanga has not played for the national team since March 2019.

The left-handed batsman, who was part of Sri Lanka’s World Cup squad in 2007 and 2011 that reached the finals, posted an emotional message, thanking the cricket board for all the opportunities provided to him.

Upul Tharanga. (Credits: Twitter)
Upul Tharanga. (Credits: Twitter)

Upul Tharanga Featured In 235 ODIs, 31 Tests, and 26 T20Is

Upul Tharanga’s strongest format was One-day international cricket as he featured in 235 ODIs and scored 6951 runs at 33.74 along with 15 centuries and 37 fifties. The 36-year old batsman shone in the 2011 World Cup won by India. It was hosted by India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka where he forged a prolific opening stand with Tillakaratne Dilshan. Upul Tharanga managed 395 runs in nine matches at 56.43 with two centuries and a half-century

Tillakaratne Dilshan retired at the age of 38 from ODI cricket © Getty Images
Tillakaratne Dilshan retired at the age of 38 from ODI cricket © Getty Images

Out of the 223 innings in ODIs, Upul Tharanga opened the innings in 189 of them, mustering 6077 runs at that position, averaging 33.95 with 15 tons and 30 fifties.

Upul Tharanga Also featured In 31 Tests And 26 T20Is

The southpaw also featured in 31 Tests and 26 Tests; however, he could not make an impact that strongly. In the longest format of the game, he managed three centuries and eight fifties while in the shortest version, Upul Tharanga’s highest score was 47.

Upul Tharanga top-scored for Sri Lanka in their last Test, against Pakistan AFP
Upul Tharanga top-scored for Sri Lanka in their last Test, against Pakistan AFP

Below is the statement from Upul Tharanga:

“My Dear Friends, As the good old saying goes “All good things must come to an end”, I believe it is time for me to bid farewell to my International Cricket Career after over 15 years of giving the game my all.

“I leave behind a road traveled with fond memories and great friendships. I am thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for always having faith and the trust vested in me. I am grateful to the many Cricket Loving Fans, friends And my family for standing by me during my highest of highs and even at my lowest points in my career. Your well-wishes and messages of encouragement was easily the drive behind my ambition. For that I thank you all, and I wish you well.”

“I would like to wish Sri Lanka Cricket all the very best for the future and I am hopeful that the team will bounce back strong soon,” he concluded.

Upul Tharanga scored 1754, 6951, and 407 runs in 31 Tests, 235 ODIs, and 26 T20Is respectively. His last ODI was in 2019, his last Test in 2017, and his last T20I in 2018. He is a left-handed opening batsman and occasional wicket-keeper. On the 2006 tour of England, he really began to develop, particularly in the one-day game, scoring over 300 runs in Sri Lanka’s 5–0 whitewash of the hosts.

Upul Tharanga lost his form in the 2007 World Cup scoring one fifty(against New Zealand) only and then continued his poor run of form in the home series against England in 2007 where he failed to contribute. However, in the 2011 World Cup, he performed well. The left-handed batsman had also led the Lankan team several times as a stand-in captain before being appointed as the permanent captain in 2017.

Under Upul Tharanga, the Islanders have suffered three 5-0 whitewashes this year against South Africa, India, and Pakistan. The annihilation faced at the hands of India and South Africa has jeopardized their direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup.