Sri Lanka batsman Upul Tharanga announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday (February 23). He last played for Sri Lanka in an ODI on their 2019 tour of South Africa, in Cape Town.
“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,” Tharanga wrote in his retirement statement on Twitter.
Tharanga played 31 Tests for Sri Lanka, scoring 1754 runs at an average of 21.89, including three centuries and eight fifties. He made his Test debut in Ahmedabad against India in December 2005 and played his last, too, against the same opposition in Pallekele in 2017.
A left-handed bat and an occasional wicketkeeper, Tharanga was most successful in the ODI format for his country, making 6951 runs for Sri Lanka at an average of 33.74 in the 235 games he played since his debut against West Indies in August 2005.
This included 15 centuries and 37 half-centuries, with a career-best score of 174* – the second highest by a Sri Lankan in the format to date. Tharanga retires as the fifth-best century maker for Sri Lankna, a fter Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene
Having served as limited-overs stand-in captain on and off, mainly due to injuries to regular skipper Angelo Mathews from November 2016, Tharanga was handed over the reigns full-time when the latter stepped aside as Sri Lanka’s all-formats skipper in July 2017.
His captaincy career, though, was marred with the team’s unimpressive performances – including three 5-0 whitewashes, and a couple of over-rate suspensions. He was eventually sacked from the role in November 2017, ahead of the series against India.
Tharanga also played 26 T20Is for Sri Lanka, scoring 407 runs with a best of 47.
“Upul Tharanga has done a tremendous service as a player to Sri Lanka Cricket during his long career and has been an integral part of the National Team during its many achievements,” said Ashley De Silva, CEO of Sri Lanka Cricket.