Sri Lanka news March 5, 2013

Samaraweera could retire from international cricket

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Thilan Samaraweera has indicated he would like to retire from international cricket in a letter to Sri Lanka Cricket, but the board is yet to accept his retirement.

"He has sent a letter saying he would like to retire from all three segments of the game, but we have told him to have a talk with the selectors before we make a final call," SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said. Samaraweera is expected to meet with the selectors on Wednesday.

Samaraweera was one of 22 players who signed their national contracts on Monday after a 24-hour lock out over the weekend, but he was not named in Sri Lanka's squad for the first Test against Bangladesh, which begins on Friday.

At 36, Samaraweera was the oldest member of Sri Lanka's touring party to Australia, where he was woeful with the bat, making 79 runs in six Test innings. He reclaimed form in Sri Lanka's first class competition, hitting 464 runs at an average of 92.80 in four matches.

Samaraweera was originally left out of Sri Lanka's preliminary Test squad for the Bangladesh series, but was later called up when Mahela Jayawardene's finger injury ruled him out of the series. He could not find a place in the final 16, however.

Samaraweera's decision was likely brought on as much by a lack of Tests for Sri Lanka in 2013, as his non-selection. Apart from the two home Tests in March against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka have only one away tour to Zimbabwe - which it is understood Samaraweera was unlikely to attend - before a scheduled year-end tour to Pakistan. He has also signed for a full county season with Worcestershire for 2013.

Though he had received a central contract from SLC, the selectors had expressed a desire to build a youthful Test side in 2013, and Samaraweera was unlikely to play a major role in what little Test cricket Sri Lanka had scheduled.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ashlatchem on March 6, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    I'm really dissapointed with the SLC Selectors and the state of SLC cricket as a whole. Thilan dropped twice now in the past 2 years. Last time they did he came back and put Sri Lanka in a good enough position to win their first test in RSA. (Which was a fantastic knock) I know he didn't score many in OZ but I'm pretty sure no one did. But as has already been mentioned they play practically no test cricket for the next year or so and he is always going to be the first senoir batsman dropped anyways and they want to keep grooming Matthew's so don't think they will drop him so it seemed logical for him to retire now. Anyways his has been a great career and I personally rate him as one of the most under-rated batsman in the world (Most ppl are suprised to find he avg. over 50) And most importantly he was a pleasure to watch when on song! Good Job Thilan!!!

  • gnanzcupid on March 6, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    @jpnana samara is a decent player at home. I felt he is needed at home in absence of mahela. I don think lanka is even in top 5(even v close to number 7, out of the 8 teams with rating points),so as to be really afraid of mate. Lanka is a highly over rated test team as we all know. so what is your point mate?

  • vswami on March 6, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    So SLC is going to drag Samaraweera to matches and force him to score runs ?

  • TORONTO123456 on March 6, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    See Samaraweera is not going behind money if he go behind money he should have just waited cos he has already sign the contract with SL cricket he is in top pay list in test cricket section ......

  • deathstarbd on March 6, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    One superb test batsman. take a bow

  • MH19 on March 6, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Now he wants to retire and its not accepted whats going on here. When he does not want to go the selectors want him to go.Great decision by Samaraweera and he should leave his head high for what he has done to the country and should never regret. Remember in life when one door closes another one opens. Best wishes

  • Ramansilva on March 6, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    Oh!!! Thilan, don't retire yet. You still have lot of cricket in you. The way you played recently in comparsion to the "young talent" was second to none. We know that SLC take heart sinking decisions from time to time. Before you Roshan Mahanama, Marvan Atapattu received same treatments. Hang on for the benfit of SL cricket.

  • HLANGL on March 6, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    @"Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (March 5, 2013, 11:54 GMT) " Are you sure, check his record overseas ?. May not be great, still I doubt whether you can call it "hopeless" ?. Do you really think he has done a lot worse than many other batsmen from the subcontinent for him to be called "hopeless" ?. I doubt.

  • Ranendra30 on March 6, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    Samaraweera's contribution in test cricket for SL not less than Mahela or Sanga. He is really a great batsman. Very solid and have pretty good temperament. I think he should stay little longer. SL still need him. Specially playing against stronger oppositions. It is very hard to motivate himself though when only one or two series has been scheduled in a year. Anyway, best of luck Thilan.

  • ThatsJustCricket on March 6, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    One of the most underrated, unsung heroes of Sri Lankan cricket. Take a big bow sir.

  • ashlatchem on March 6, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    I'm really dissapointed with the SLC Selectors and the state of SLC cricket as a whole. Thilan dropped twice now in the past 2 years. Last time they did he came back and put Sri Lanka in a good enough position to win their first test in RSA. (Which was a fantastic knock) I know he didn't score many in OZ but I'm pretty sure no one did. But as has already been mentioned they play practically no test cricket for the next year or so and he is always going to be the first senoir batsman dropped anyways and they want to keep grooming Matthew's so don't think they will drop him so it seemed logical for him to retire now. Anyways his has been a great career and I personally rate him as one of the most under-rated batsman in the world (Most ppl are suprised to find he avg. over 50) And most importantly he was a pleasure to watch when on song! Good Job Thilan!!!

  • gnanzcupid on March 6, 2013, 12:26 GMT

    @jpnana samara is a decent player at home. I felt he is needed at home in absence of mahela. I don think lanka is even in top 5(even v close to number 7, out of the 8 teams with rating points),so as to be really afraid of mate. Lanka is a highly over rated test team as we all know. so what is your point mate?

  • vswami on March 6, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    So SLC is going to drag Samaraweera to matches and force him to score runs ?

  • TORONTO123456 on March 6, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    See Samaraweera is not going behind money if he go behind money he should have just waited cos he has already sign the contract with SL cricket he is in top pay list in test cricket section ......

  • deathstarbd on March 6, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    One superb test batsman. take a bow

  • MH19 on March 6, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Now he wants to retire and its not accepted whats going on here. When he does not want to go the selectors want him to go.Great decision by Samaraweera and he should leave his head high for what he has done to the country and should never regret. Remember in life when one door closes another one opens. Best wishes

  • Ramansilva on March 6, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    Oh!!! Thilan, don't retire yet. You still have lot of cricket in you. The way you played recently in comparsion to the "young talent" was second to none. We know that SLC take heart sinking decisions from time to time. Before you Roshan Mahanama, Marvan Atapattu received same treatments. Hang on for the benfit of SL cricket.

  • HLANGL on March 6, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    @"Posted by Darkmanx12155 on (March 5, 2013, 11:54 GMT) " Are you sure, check his record overseas ?. May not be great, still I doubt whether you can call it "hopeless" ?. Do you really think he has done a lot worse than many other batsmen from the subcontinent for him to be called "hopeless" ?. I doubt.

  • Ranendra30 on March 6, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    Samaraweera's contribution in test cricket for SL not less than Mahela or Sanga. He is really a great batsman. Very solid and have pretty good temperament. I think he should stay little longer. SL still need him. Specially playing against stronger oppositions. It is very hard to motivate himself though when only one or two series has been scheduled in a year. Anyway, best of luck Thilan.

  • ThatsJustCricket on March 6, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    One of the most underrated, unsung heroes of Sri Lankan cricket. Take a big bow sir.

  • on March 6, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    I think this has to do with changing his pay level too.First he was in first level along with Sanga and Mahela and now changed to a special category with Prasanna Jayawardane as both of them only play in Tests.Given he is not longer in Bangladesh tournament and there is no much Tests for Sri Lanka in 2013,I think its a good decision.

  • Htc-Android on March 6, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    Samaraweera is unlucky here. Can someone tell me why mahela(who hasnt done anything in overseas wicket) gets picked despite his dismal performance while Samaraweera gets dropped. Selectors should have given a chance to announce his retirement after playing a match. Remember sanath used his political influence to get into the team and announced his retirement.

  • on March 5, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    If I were him I would feel so betrayed. Regardless, he was such an awesome batsman. Hats off to you sir

  • on March 5, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    Samaraweera has been Sri Lanka's Wall in test cricket. He should consider for playing little longer. We need that wall

  • HambaanakaKewa on March 5, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    It may be the right time for him to retire, we have a bunch of solid young batters lined up to take his place. Thanks Thilan for your services to the country. You've brought us so much joy through your batting. Now please, like Vassy and Murali hang around Sri Lanka cricket to pass-on your skills to younger generation.

  • yorkslanka on March 5, 2013, 20:29 GMT

    probably the right decision but wanted to say thanks for all you have done for your country whenever it needed you.. one of the finest batsmen we have produced (especially overseas) and was our wall, as India had the great Dravid...look forward to seeing you here in England for the county season..

  • warneneverchuck on March 5, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    He was the best SL player after arvinda when it comes to playing overseas

  • COOLANKA on March 5, 2013, 19:14 GMT

    wise decision thilan it's always better to say it by yourself otherwise some body could take this decision before you. you were a great servent for sri lankan cricket so we are really respect you.

  • on March 5, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    Why is Samaraweera saying he is retiring from all 3 formats? Now i can see through. I his last tests he was trying to score fast to show he can be an ODIplayer as thre are few tsts this year. He was in WC when he shud not have been there. At 37 what is this selectors asking him to rconsider? Ranjan Rodrig

  • torsha on March 5, 2013, 17:04 GMT

    Poor tactics from SLC board. He is still a good player.

  • DilumSL on March 5, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    may be the right decision. but taken in the wrong time with all these issues. Any way another legend. Thank you for your contribution. I never forget that inning that he got 45 or 44 runs without any boundary but still a SR above 100.

  • on March 5, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    Thilan was a fine middle order batsman. He provided much needed stability to middle order. But having reached a new high in SA test series his form started declining afterwards. Some of his dismissals in Aus test series indicated that he had lost his desire to contribute at the highest level. However, he has been in prolific form this season in the Premier League, which earned him a place in the preliminary test squad when Mahela was ruled out due to injury. But now he has been overlooked and with very little test cricket remaining this year, he must have decided that he has very little chance of playing test cricket again. Perhaps selectors should have played him in Bangladesh series giving him the opportunity to retire on a high note. Even now it is not too late to do that and persuade him to play one farewell series.

  • Prabhash1985 on March 5, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    I think it's the right time... Like Aravinda did... It's not about going to the last drop of fuel... It's about stopping when you cannot sing the song as usual, but still can challenge others... I think it's the right time to retire...

  • SamRoy on March 5, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Fine player for SL. But sometimes I wish he and Aravinda had exchanged their test batting averages. Anyway, averages aren't everything and everyone will agree De Silva was a much better batsman. Nevertheless, he was a fine player with a couple of weaknesses which he took out from his game by working hard. His calm presence at the crease was his biggest asset. Congratulations on a terrific career. SLC should have no business in deciding when a player should retire.

  • King_Ravanaa on March 5, 2013, 15:23 GMT

    gnanzcupid ... i'm so happy, because you always have concerns over SL, seing lot of you when there is something about SL.. we can understand how watchful you are about SL's every move. LOL.... (you always concern about your greatest challenger, because it's the thing you always afraid of)

  • on March 5, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Whaddaplaya...huge respect to one of the greats in SL cricket. I still think he deserves a fair well test, after all he has done to cricket in SL. we have won so many matches due to his unwavering brilliance with the bat. SL cricket will surely miss you, more than we think. The great titan of our cricket we salute you. Hope you will stay with SL cricket and teach the youngsters the art of never giving up.From a proud Anandian.

  • rohanblue on March 5, 2013, 14:17 GMT

    all d subcontinent teams should learn how to respect test players in this time of t20, world cricket is going 2 miss this great gentle man.........

  • on March 5, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Keep your head high................true gentleman and we salute you Mr.Samaraweera and thank you for entertaining us.

  • on March 5, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    For me the most technically correct player in the whole world.how interesting is it to watch how he plays a drive a cut or a pull(we'll call it a drag,becs it's so scenic) .I do always think that now it is the time to make a turn around.so other seniors will have to manage their retirement within future years and substitutes for that positions must be made.look at what has happened with aussie line up it's what trouble means. but in this case if samare wants to retire it's totally up to him.but SLC will be take decisions to make it a honourable one.thatz y this is mada i guess

  • lonewarriorram on March 5, 2013, 13:03 GMT

    Its right time Thilan made his decision and informed the board. A solid middle order batsman and great servant of SLC. Board should respect his decision and move on. Its the begining of SL test batting transition and board must carefully draft younger ones to see a smooth transition.

  • ozwriter on March 5, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    this is ridiculous. if a player wants to retire, the board surely should have no 'say' in it. he averages close to 50 in tests and is a class player

  • rajithwijepura on March 5, 2013, 12:45 GMT

    Thilan Samaraweera deserved farewell test and this is the last chance for selectors to give him that farewell....

  • on March 5, 2013, 12:44 GMT

    one of ending for a greatest player in the game.solid and very skillfull. I think i am going to watch Worcestershire matches now on

  • yohandf1984 on March 5, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    It s bit sad to see Thilan is going to end his career this way . But he didn't earn his spot for this Bangladesh tour as he got out cheaply in Australia . The way he got out in some innings showed some hiccups in concentration . But this man has done a tremendous job in Test for SL and performed well consistently . Hard worker and improved a lot to be a specialist batsman from being a spinner/ all rounder . Remember for gutsy innings in South africa which helped us to beat them in a test . Also two double centuries in Pak . Even the bullets of Pak militants could not halt his career . As all good things end , time is right him to retire . Unfortunetly he wont get any final round of applause in ground . But Thilan Samaraweera will go down to History of SL cricket as a rock solid test batsmen . Good luck for you in the future .

  • faizan_feroz on March 5, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    he and sanga has been pakistan's biggest nightmares in tests, as a arilankan cricket fan he wud be missed by the pakistanis if he would continue with this decision

  • gnanzcupid on March 5, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Decision should be reconsidered. It was not so wise decision to have left samara out of the 16 for the series especially in the absence of mahela and also considering his domestic form. Youngsters of lankan team dont look like challenging the bd team. I would like to see both sanga and samara rescuing lanka.

  • Philip_Gnana on March 5, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Thilan has given Sri Lanka yeoman service. With so many youngsters now staking claims it is right that the older players keep that in mind. Unless of course these experienced players are still playing at their best - but that does not mean they should not retire. All teams need to introduce the youngsters so that there a smooth transition. We had seen this happen in Australia, Pakistan and West Indies during their prime time at the top. Thilan hada new lease of life at the time of the ill fated tour of Pakistan a few years ago, that lost him a year through injurydue to bullet wounds. He did come back strongly, but has seen a lean period in 2012. It right that the selectors have asked for meeting to discuss. This is a good thing in light of negative news in the recent past. If youngsters and not given a good run in a test series they will not be able to build up their confidence too. A great batsmen when in form "Bradman of SriLanka" as he was referred by Younis Khan.

  • IG123 on March 5, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    One of Sri Lanka's top Test batsmen. He struggled outside SL early in his career, but improved later on. The best SL Test batsmen outside Asia from around 2008. Must have worked hard on his game unlike Jayawardene who still can't do well in seamer-friendly conditions. Samaraweera played a couple of very gutsy knocks in the South African tour when someone like Sangakkara had been struggling to get a start.

  • KingOwl on March 5, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Thilan is in good form and can make big scores in this series if he is allowed to play. I can understand the selectors wanting to give chances to young ones. But, Thilan should be given a farewell test. He has done very well for SL over the years. I think he is a really under rated cricketer. There were many who thought he could not make runs on fast, bouncy pitches. But he has made some big scores against the best, playing overseas.

  • on March 5, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    I think time is right , i think this decision shows us how great man he is

  • Darkmanx12155 on March 5, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    Could have been a better batter but some how he lost it!... Excellent in SL and hopeless outside SL...

  • on March 5, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Samaraweera was a humble unsung hero for Sri Lanka for many years. He had some superb match saving / winning innings his career. I always enjoyed watching Samraweera tough it out for Sri Lanka.

  • Udendra on March 5, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    I think Thilan should re-think his decision. may be give it a bit more time.

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  • Udendra on March 5, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    I think Thilan should re-think his decision. may be give it a bit more time.

  • on March 5, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    Samaraweera was a humble unsung hero for Sri Lanka for many years. He had some superb match saving / winning innings his career. I always enjoyed watching Samraweera tough it out for Sri Lanka.

  • Darkmanx12155 on March 5, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    Could have been a better batter but some how he lost it!... Excellent in SL and hopeless outside SL...

  • on March 5, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    I think time is right , i think this decision shows us how great man he is

  • KingOwl on March 5, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Thilan is in good form and can make big scores in this series if he is allowed to play. I can understand the selectors wanting to give chances to young ones. But, Thilan should be given a farewell test. He has done very well for SL over the years. I think he is a really under rated cricketer. There were many who thought he could not make runs on fast, bouncy pitches. But he has made some big scores against the best, playing overseas.

  • IG123 on March 5, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    One of Sri Lanka's top Test batsmen. He struggled outside SL early in his career, but improved later on. The best SL Test batsmen outside Asia from around 2008. Must have worked hard on his game unlike Jayawardene who still can't do well in seamer-friendly conditions. Samaraweera played a couple of very gutsy knocks in the South African tour when someone like Sangakkara had been struggling to get a start.

  • Philip_Gnana on March 5, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    Thilan has given Sri Lanka yeoman service. With so many youngsters now staking claims it is right that the older players keep that in mind. Unless of course these experienced players are still playing at their best - but that does not mean they should not retire. All teams need to introduce the youngsters so that there a smooth transition. We had seen this happen in Australia, Pakistan and West Indies during their prime time at the top. Thilan hada new lease of life at the time of the ill fated tour of Pakistan a few years ago, that lost him a year through injurydue to bullet wounds. He did come back strongly, but has seen a lean period in 2012. It right that the selectors have asked for meeting to discuss. This is a good thing in light of negative news in the recent past. If youngsters and not given a good run in a test series they will not be able to build up their confidence too. A great batsmen when in form "Bradman of SriLanka" as he was referred by Younis Khan.

  • gnanzcupid on March 5, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Decision should be reconsidered. It was not so wise decision to have left samara out of the 16 for the series especially in the absence of mahela and also considering his domestic form. Youngsters of lankan team dont look like challenging the bd team. I would like to see both sanga and samara rescuing lanka.

  • faizan_feroz on March 5, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    he and sanga has been pakistan's biggest nightmares in tests, as a arilankan cricket fan he wud be missed by the pakistanis if he would continue with this decision

  • yohandf1984 on March 5, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    It s bit sad to see Thilan is going to end his career this way . But he didn't earn his spot for this Bangladesh tour as he got out cheaply in Australia . The way he got out in some innings showed some hiccups in concentration . But this man has done a tremendous job in Test for SL and performed well consistently . Hard worker and improved a lot to be a specialist batsman from being a spinner/ all rounder . Remember for gutsy innings in South africa which helped us to beat them in a test . Also two double centuries in Pak . Even the bullets of Pak militants could not halt his career . As all good things end , time is right him to retire . Unfortunetly he wont get any final round of applause in ground . But Thilan Samaraweera will go down to History of SL cricket as a rock solid test batsmen . Good luck for you in the future .