Sri Lanka is currently undergoing a massive transition at the moment. When their stalwarts in Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara retired from international cricket, little did anyone know that Sri Lankan cricket would witness such a steep fall. They have been struggling across all the three formats and are starting to lose even against the lower ranked teams. Meanwhile, their premier spinner, Rangana Hearth announced that he’ll be playing his last test in Galle which also marked his debut back in 1999.
It will the first test between Sri Lanka and England this year and would be the legend’s last. Rangana played the first 11 years of his career with legendary Sri Lankan off spinner, Muttiah Muralitharan and pretty much, under his shadow. In this period he played only 22 tests, picking up 71 of his 430 wickets at a modest average of 37.88.
Once Murali retired, Hearth never let his team feel the void left by the legend who picked up 800 International wickets to his name. His tally improved too. In less than 8 years since the retirement of Murali, Hearth played 70 of the 81 tests that Sri Lanka played and has managed to pick up 359 wickets at an average of 25.98.
Rangana Herath made his first mark after Muralitharan’s retirement was when he inspired Sri Lanka to their first ever win against South Africa in 2011. He bagged an 11-wicket haul and carried his brilliant form next year to finish with 60 wickets, thus making to the top of the bowling charts.
Fitness has always been a concern for the big man has suffered two knee injuries. Hearth has finally called it quits and Sri Lanka have to think of a replacement as soon as possible. They do have an exciting batch of youngsters coming in Akhila Dhananjaya and Dilruvan Perera. Since they haven’t been tested much in the red-ball arena, it is going to be an uphill task for Sri Lankan cricket.